The Stamford-based Eagle Bulk Shipping has won approval from its shareholders for the merger with Star Bulk creating a drybulk shipping giant.

The takeover will create one the world’s largest owner-operators within the midsize dry bulk vessel segment with a fleet of 167 ships.

Eagle Bulk Shipping Inc. announced on Friday that its shareholders have approved the merger agreement between Star Bulk Carriers Corp., Star Infinity Corp., and Eagle at the special meeting of shareholders held on Friday.

This merger is set to create a dry bulk shipping company between the Greek headquartered and Nasdaq-listed Star Bulk Carriers (Star Bulk) and USA-based and New York Stock Exchange listed Eagle Bulk Shipping (Eagle), with a 169 vessel drybulk fleet from supramax/ultramax to newcastlemax/capesize.

Eagle Bulk said approximately 65% of its outstanding shares, approximately 99% of the shares of common stock present at the special meeting, were voted in favor of the merger proposal, and around 96% of the votes cast were voted in favor of the convertible note share issuance proposal.

The company now expects to complete the merger on or about April 9 subject to the satisfaction of the remaining closing conditions.

Petros Pappas, chief executive of Star Bulk, highlighted in December that with a well-capitalized balance sheet, their aim is to continue delivering strong cash returns to shareholders while investing in emission reduction technologies.

“Under the terms of the merger agreement, at the effective time, each share of the common stock issued and outstanding immediately prior to the effective time (excluding Common Stock owned by Eagle, Star Bulk, Merger Sub or any of their respective direct or indirect wholly owned subsidiaries) will be cancelled in exchange for the right to receive 2.6211 shares of common stock of Star Bulk, par value $0.01 per share, and any cash payable in respect of fractional shares,” reads Eagle’s statement.