Burlington Northern Santa Fe shareholders have voted to approve the railroad's proposed acquisition by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, with less than two percent of non-Berkshire owned shares voting against the deal.
In a news release issued minutes ago (10:35a ET), Burlington Northern says preliminary results show that "approximately 70 percent of BNSF issued and outstanding shares not owned by Berkshire or its affiliates were voted in favor of the transaction."
That's a few points above the 66-2/3 margin needed for approval.
UPDATE at 1p ET: A Burlington Northern spokesman tells me the latest count shows only 1.84 percent of shares were voted against the Berkshire deal. Roughly 28 percent of shares weren't voted either way. All this is subject to the final count which should be released later today.
Berkshire already owned roughly 22 percent of BNSF's total outstanding shares when the deal agreement was announced last November.
The companies plan to close the deal tomorrow, Friday, February 12.
In the news release, Buffett is quoted as saying, "Tomorrow begins the first century of ownership of BNSF by Berkshire Hathaway.