Australia’s Drillsearch Energy Limited reported Wednesday that its shareholders have approved the scheme of arrangement to proceed with the proposed merger with Beach Energy Limited.

Company shareholders supported the merger overwhelmingly, with 94 of the 99 percent that voted at the meeting casting their votes in favor of the proposal to create the largest mid-cap oil and gas company listed on the Australian Securities Exchange which will be well positioned for future growth.

“The combination of Drillsearch and Beach is highly attractive and we are delighted that Drillsearch shareholders have voted in favor of this transaction. The focus of both companies is to press ahead with implementation of the proposed merger and to successfully integrate the two businesses to drive value from the combination,” Drillsearch Chairman Jim McKerlie said in the press release.

Drillsearch will proceed with the next step in the implementation of the proposed merger through a second court hearing, scheduled for Feb. 18, to obtain the approval of the Federal Court of Australia in Sydney. Subject to the court approval and the satisfaction or waiver of the remaining conditions, implementation of the merger is likely to occur in early March.

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