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Elan shareholders approve sale to Perrigo

NEW YORK (AP) -- Irish drugmaker Elan said Monday that its shareholders have approved the sale of the company to Perrigo Co.

Perrigo agreed to buy Elan Corp. PLC in an $8.6 billion cash-and-stock deal in July. The companies expect the deal to close by the end of December, pending approval by Irish regulators.

Allegan, Mich.-based Perrigo is the biggest maker of generic drugs for major retail chains in the United States. By buying Elan, Perrigo will gain royalties from drugs Elan helped develop, particularly the multiple sclerosis treatment Tysabri. The company hopes to cut its tax liabilities nearly in half by relocating to Ireland.

Elan said 99.5 percent of the shares voted at a special meeting were in favor of the sale. That made up 66 percent of its total shares. Perrigo said its shareholders also approved proposals related to the acquisition.

Shares of Elan lost 9 cents to $17.77 Monday afternoon, and Perrigo stock fell $1.10 to $152.03.