Nokia shareholders have given the OK to sell the company’s mobile phone business and license its patents to Microsoft.
The Financial Times said an overwhelming 99.7 percent of Nokia investors were in favor of the $7.2 billion deal.
In September, Nokia shares soared on news of Microsoft’s proposed deal. At the time, Microsoft expected the deal to close by the first quarter of 2014. The transaction is still seeking regulatory approval but the shareholder hurdle has been cleared.
The shareholder approval comes at a time of upheaval for both companies. Nokia was under some fire for the generous $25 million compensation package it’s giving to outgoing CEO Stephen Elop. But some good news came in the third quarter with Nokia selling a record 8.8 million Lumia devices and keeping its net sales steady.
In the meantime, Microsoft continues its search for a new CEO after the departure of Steve Ballmer. Elop is rumored to be among the candidates for the Microsoft chief job.
Nokia’s stock was down more than one percent to $7.94 as of 8:54 a.m. CT.