Shareholders overwhelmingly approve of First Niagara-KeyCorp merger

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Shareholders with investments in First Niagara as well as those with investments in KeyCorp overwhelmingly showed their approval of the two companies’ proposed merger following a Monday vote.

Back in October, it was announced that First Niagara would potentially be bought by Cleveland-based rival KeyCorp, which operates KeyBank locations across the nation. KeyCorp made a $4.1 billion offer for First Niagara.

The merger would potentially make KeyCorp the 13th largest commercial bank in the country.

First Niagara has 390 branches in New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts. KeyBank locations can be found in 12 states.

Shareholders voted on the merger during special meetings held in Buffalo and Cleveland. More than 90 percent of them approved of the merger.

“I would like to thank our shareholders for their support and their vote of confidence,” said Beth Mooney, Chairman and CEO, KeyCorp. “KeyBank and First Niagara are indeed better together – a powerful combination that will bring a new level of capabilities and expertise to our clients; new opportunities for our employees; and even greater investment in our communities. Our integration efforts are on track, and we remain both confident in and committed to achieving the financial and growth targets of the First Niagara acquisition.”

The shareholders’ approval allows the companies to move forward with the merger. The merger is expected to be closed during the third quarter of 2016.

“We are very pleased that First Niagara shareholders have overwhelmingly demonstrated their support for the merger with KeyCorp. This is an important step in bringing our two companies together for the benefit of our customers, employees, shareholders and the communities we serve,” said Gary M. Crosby, Chief Executive Officer, First Niagara Financial Group.

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