Kemper Corp.’s plan to acquire Infinity Property and Casualty Corp. in a $1.3 billion cash and stock deal cleared a major hurdle, with shareholders of both companies signing off on the plan by a wide margin.

Kemper said that 99.1 percent of its common stock voted at the Chicago company’s annual meeting voted to approve the meeting. Similarly, 99.9 percent of the shares of Infinity common stock voted at Birmingham, Ala.-based Infinity’s special meeting voted to adopt the merger agreement.

Joseph P. Lacher, Jr., Kemper’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said in prepared remarks that the shareholder vote “is an important milestone toward completing our transaction to form a leader in auto insurance, particularly specialty auto, and create significant value for both Infinity and Kemper shareholders,”

Glen N. Godwin, Infinity Chief Executive Officer, added he saw the shareholders’ votes as an “important step in creating a stronger company for the benefit of our customers, employees, shareholders and the communities we serve.”

Kemper expects to close its acquisition of Infinity in the 2018 third quarter, pending various regulatory approvals. The deal was first announced in February 2018.

Source: Kemper