The last big hurdle in the merger of British home-building giants, Taylor Woodrow and George Wimpey, was neatly cleared early Monday (June 4) when Wimpey's shareholders voted in favor of the match.

Last week, Taylor Woodrow's shareholders also approved the merger. Wimpey does business in the U.S. under the Morrison Homes name.

Now, say analysts, the only business that remains to be done before the merger becomes official in early July is a perfunctory review by the British courts and the paperwork of de-listing of the two companys' individual stocks and listing of the new Taylor Wimpey shares.

The deal is almost truly a merger of equals with Taylor Woodrow shareholders holding 51 percent of the new entity's shares and George Wimpey shareholders in possession of the remaining 49 percent. The merger will create the largest home building company in Great Britain and the 15th largest in the U.S. by 2006 closings.

Peter Redfern, Wimpey's chief executive, will lead the unified management team of the entire operation, while John Landrum, currently head of Taylor Woodrow's U.S. operations, will become CEO of the North American operations of the new company.

Combining the companies is expected to cut roughly $137.8 million from pretax costs in the first financial year. In addition, the new entity would increase margin growth in the U.K. by combining George Wimpey's cost efficiencies and business structure with the strategic land-development skills of Taylor Woodrow.