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UPDATE 1-Husky, Cenovus shareholders approve $4.78 bln merger deal

(Adds Cenovus shareholders vote details)

Dec 15 (Reuters) - Cenovus Energy Inc’s C$6.07 billion ($4.78 billion)deal to buy Husky Energy Inc was approved by the shareholders of the two companies on Tuesday, creating Canada’s No. 3 oil and gas producer in a rapidly consolidating industry.

Cenovus said 93% of shareholder votes were cast in favor of the merger at a special meeting, while Husky announced earlier in the day that the merger was approved with over 99.9% of votes cast in favor at its meeting.

Some Cenovus investors were apprehensive about the deal as they believed that the addition of Husky’s refineries would hinder the company from taking advantage of rising oil prices.

The shareholder approval comes as a recent recovery in oil prices has helped energy shares, boosting the value of the all-stock transaction by about 60% from its initial C$3.8 billion valuation in October, when the deal was first announced.

Husky shareholders will get 0.7845 of a Cenovus share and 0.0651 of a Cenovus share purchase warrant in exchange for each Husky common share.

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021, after which Cenovus shareholders would own 61% of the combined entity and Husky shareholders the rest.

Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing-controlled Hutchison Whampoa, Husky’s biggest shareholder, would hold a 15.7% stake in the new company. ($1 = 1.2747 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Arunima Kumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M. and Anil D’Silva)

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