Red Hat investors approve $34B merger agreement with IBM

Red Hat investors gave their blessing Wednesday to the $34 billion merger agreement between the Raleigh-based company and IBM.

Of the more than 176 million outstanding shares of Red Hat, around 141 million voted in favor of the merger and only 181,848 voted against it during a meeting at its office tower in downtown Raleigh.

More shares — 462,497 — abstained from the vote than voted against the agreement with IBM.

The merger had already been approved by the board of Red Hat.

It is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the latter half of 2019.

In October, Red Hat announced that tech giant IBM would buy the software company for $190 per share — a figure that represented around a 60 percent premium for Red Hat shares at the time of the announcement.

Red Hat shares were trading around $175.58 after the vote was released in a Securities and Exchange filing.

Red Hat shareholders also voted in favor of “a non-binding, advisory vote compensation” that would become payable to executive officers of Red Hat “in connection with the merger.”

IBM, which has a campus in Research Triangle Park, has said it intends to keep Red Hat based in downtown Raleigh. The company has more than 2,000 employees at its headquarters, making it one of the city’s largest employers.

Red Hat has been downtown since 2013, when it moved its headquarters from N.C. State University’s Centennial Campus in 2013, bringing around 600 employees at the time. Worldwide, the company had approximately 12,600 employees as of August 2018.

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