Cornerstone shareholders approve Chiesi merger

Cornerstone Therapeutics stockholders approved the Cary drug developer’s merger with Italy’s Chiesi Farmaceutici on Monday.

Cornerstone said nearly 84 percent of those owning its shares voted for the deal. Chiesi already owned 58 percent of Cornerstone’s stock.

The transaction was expected to close by the end of day Monday.

The deal with Chiesi valued Cornerstone at nearly $300 million, or $9.50 a share. The company is to become a Chiesi subsidiary.

Cornerstone was created as a publicly traded company in 2008 when Cary’s Cornerstone BioPharma acquired a Boston biotechnology company, Critical Therapeutics.

In 2012, Cornerstone narrowed its strategic focus to marketing respiratory drugs and specialty medications to hospitals and niche markets. Cornerstone typically does not develop or manufacture medications.

Cornerstone’s relationship with Chiesi goes back to 2009, shortly after Cornerstone went public and Chiesi became the American firm’s majority owner.

Staff writer David Bracken