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Cooper, Eaton shareholders approve $11.8 bln merger

Oct 26 (Reuters) - Shareholders of electrical products makers Cooper Industries Plc and Eaton Corp approved the two companies' $11.8 billion merger on Friday, the companies said.

Cooper Industries said 68 percent of its total outstanding shares were voted at a shareholder meeting, out of which 99.45 percent were in favor of the merger.

About 78 percent of Eaton shareholders approved the merger, the companies said in a regulatory filing.

The companies expect to close the deal later this year.

Under terms of the deal, Eaton shareholders will control 73 percent of the new Eaton, which will be incorporated in Ireland but will retain its administrative headquarters in Ohio.

The Cooper-Eaton deal, announced in May, calls for Eaton to pay $72 per share for Cooper, whose stock has been trading above the offer price in recent weeks.

Electrical businesses will generate the bulk of the combined company's revenues.

Century-old Eaton makes power systems for data centers, hydraulics used in machinery, and truck transmissions. It recorded 2011 sales of $16 billion. It has stepped up acquisitions in recent years, closing nine deals in 2011 and four so far in 2012, expanding in markets such as Chile and South Korea.

Cooper, based in Dublin, had 2011 sales of $5.4 billion, with most of its sales to utilities and industrial markets. Its products include safety systems, lighting, circuit protectors and wiring devices used in homes and commercial buildings.