Shareholders OK Federated-May Merger

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Federated Department Stores Inc. and May Department Stores Inc. got the go-ahead from their shareholders yesterday to merge in an $11 billion deal that unites Macy's, Bloomingdale's, Lord & Taylor and Filene's under one corporate umbrella.


Once completed, St. Louis-based May will become a division of Federated. The combined entity will have nearly 1,000 department stores with $30 billion in annual sales. The merger, announced in February, still needs Federal Trade Commission approval. Federated expects that to be done before the holiday shopping season.


Many of May's stores will convert to the Macy's brand as Federated steps up its plan to create a national brand, allowing it to expand its marketing efforts. The company has said that this will help it compete better with discount stores and upscale merchants.


No merger-related layoffs will happen before March 1, May chairman John L. Dunham told shareholders yesterday, according to wire reports. He declined to answer questions about store closings or management changes, saying that will be up to Federated's executives to decide.


Federated has 112,000 employees and more than 450 Macy's and Bloomingdale's stores. May has 132,000 employees and 487 department stores.


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