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NEW YORK CITY-It may not have the girth of Blackstone buying Equity Office or the drama of the SL Green/ Reckson deal, but the merger of Lexington Corporate Properties Trust and Newkirk Realty Trust Inc. is still a hefty deal, creating a firm worth $4.6 billion. That deal came closer to reality yesterday with shareholders of both firms giving the deal their approval.

According to a statement released late yesterday, votes representing some 37.8 million outstanding Lexington common shares voted in favor of the merger. That representsapproximately 97.5% of the votes received. Approximately 58.7 million of the outstanding Newkirk voting shares voted for the deal. That equates to 98.7% of the votesreceived.

As GlobeSt.com reported previously, Michael L. Ashner, chief executive officer and chairman of Newkirk’s board, will join Lexington as executive chairman. Richard Frary and Clifford Broser, each currently a director of Newkirk, will join the Lexington board of trustees. E. Robert Roskind, chairman of the Lexington board of trustees, and Richard J. Rouse, vice chairman of the Lexington board of trustees, have agreed to serve as co-vice chairmen of the new company’s board. Rouse will also continue to serve as chief investment officer.

“This transaction will improve the quality of our portfolio and our tenant base and will significantly strengthen our balance sheet by adding cash and lowering our overall debt level to approximately 45% of our enterprise value,” T. Wilson Eglin, chief executive officer of Lexington, says in a statement. “As a result of this transaction, a majority of Lexington’s portfolio will be leased to investment grade tenants providing a strong foundation for long-term earnings stability and growth.”

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