Family Dollar Stores announced that its shareholders approved the $8.5 billion merger deal proposed by Dollar Tree during a special meeting today.

Family Dollar Shareholders Approve Dollar Tree's Merger Deal

84 million Family Dollar shares voted in favor Dollar Tree merger

According to Family Dollar Stores, approximately 84 million shares held by shareholders were voted in favor of Dollar Tree’s merger proposal based on the preliminary count.

The 84 million shares voted in favor of the transaction, represents 74% of the total outstanding common stock of Family Dollar and 89% of the total shares voted. According to the discount retailer, it has approximately 114 million outstanding common stocks as of October 30, 2014—the record date for the special meeting.

IVS Associates is the independent inspector of the elections. It will tabulate all the proxies and ballots submitted during the special meeting. Family Dollar will announce the final results after IVS Associates tabulated and certified the votes.

Proxy firm recommended Dollar Tree’s offer

Last week, the Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), a proxy advisory firm switch its position and recommended the Dollar Tree offer to shareholders. ISS encouraged shareholders to vote for the proposal citing that reason that it offers “significant value and near certainty of closure.”

Family Dollar worked diligently to advance shareholder interest

In a statement, Family Dollar Chairman and CEO Howard Levine said he was pleased with the outcome of the vote today, and expressed appreciation to the company’s shareholders for their support throughout the process.

According to him, the board and management of Family Dollar “worked diligently to advance the best interest” of all the shareholders of the company.

“We are grateful for the support we received for the merger proposal. We are also very appreciative of Family Dollar’s talented and committed team members, who have remained focused on serving our customers throughout this process. We look forward to completing the transaction with Dollar Tree and remain excited about the opportunity that this combination will create for our stockholders, team members, customers and other stakeholders.”

Merger deal still needs FTC approval

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) still needs to approve the proposed merger. Family Dollar and Dollar Tree previously announced that they agreed to provide the FTC with four weeks’ notice before completing the transaction.

Family Dollar expected Dollar Tree to initiate the four-week notice period after it has executed a consent decree with the FTC’s Bureau of Competition. The consent decree from the bureau would allow the commission to approve the deal. The companies expect to close the deal on March 2015.