Shareholders of the UK’s International Power have approved the merger of the company with France’s GDF Suez.

The vote, which was taken with more than 99 per cent of the votes in favour, completes the transaction which was arranged in August.

GDF Suez Energy International will now be taken over by International Power in exchange for newly issued International power shares.

The enlarged company will be listed on the official list of the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and traded on the main market of the London Stock Exchange.

International Power shareholders now own 30 per cent of the enlarged company, called New International Power, and GDF Suez owns 70 per cent.

New International Power comprises International Power’s business and GDF Suez’s business areas outside of Europe, together with its operations in the UK and Turkey.

The new company has 66GW gross capacity currently in operation and a further 22GW capacity in committed projects.

Through the merger, International Power hopes to build its presence in Latin America and secure greater exposure to opportunities in Asia and the Middle East.

The board of the new company will be headed by Dirk Beeuwsaert as non-executive chairman and Philip Cox as chief executive officer (CEO).

“The merger between International Power and GDF Suez is a major event in the energy sector. It is the most important merger and acquisition deal in Europe in 2010, all business activities being concerned. Together, we are creating the largest independent power producer in the world,” says Gérard Mestrallet, chairman and CEO of GDF Suez.