Shareholders of The MONY Group Inc., New York, voted at a special meeting to approve a controversial $1.5 billion acquisition offer from AXA Financial Inc., MONY says.
AXA Financial, a New York-based unit of AXA S.A., Paris, agreed in September 2003 to pay $31 in cash per share of MONY common stock. AXA Financial later sweetened the deal by agreeing to add a special dividend of 33 cents to 35 cents per share of MONY common stock.
MONY managers say the price is a good price, given the difficulty MONY has had competing in the U.S. life market against much bigger companies. But deal critics, including some professional money managers, have complained that the price is lower than MONYs book value.
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MONY originally wanted to hold the special meeting on Feb. 24, but deal opponents fought in court to force MONY to send shareholders more information and postpone the meeting.
The election inspector for the special meeting certified that 53.4% of outstanding MONY shares voted in favor of the acquisition, MONY says.
The inspector found that 67% of the shares voting at the meeting voted for the deal proposal, 32% of the shares voted against the proposal and 1% of the shares abstained.
Holders of 84% of the MONY shares in the hands of retail investors voted in favor of the deal, MONY says. MONY also is reporting that investors who own 16.7% of its common shares have demanded appraisals of their shares.