By Michelle Graff
New York--Saks Inc. announced Wednesday that is shareholders have given the green light for the high-end retailer to merge with Canadian retailer Hudson’s Bay Company.

According to a news release issued by Saks, approximately 99 percent of the total votes cast, which represents about 85 percent of the total shares outstanding, were in favor of Saks being purchased by Hudson’s Bay.

Saks has 41 Saks Fifth Avenue stores, 72 Off Fifth Stores--its off-price arm--and sells via

Hudson’s Bay Company, or HBC, announced its intention to purchase Saks in July in an all-cash transaction valued at $2.9 billion. HBC owns Canadian department store chains Hudson’s Bay and Home Outfitters as well as Lord & Taylor in the United States.  

HBC was founded as a fur trading company in 1670 and is the longest continually operating retailer in North America.

The deal, which is expected to close before the end of the year, was subject to approval by Saks shareholders, which it now has.

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