Shareholders of Guidant ( GDT) and Boston Scientific ( BSX) voted at separate meetings Friday to support the merger of the two heart-device companies. Of the Boston shares represented at the meeting, 73% approved the deal. Two-thirds of the Guidant shares that were voted were submitted in favor of the merger. Boston's shares dipped 23 cents to $23.09 after the announcement. Guidant's shares were 13 cents lower at $77.92. Boston is buying Guidant for $80 a share, or about $27 billion overall. Boston won a bidding battle with health-care giant Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ) for the maker of pacemakers and defibrillators after J&J determined that Guidant was no longer worth its initial $76-a-share offer. J&J's decision followed Guidant's recall of thousands of medical devices for various defects last year. "We are pleased and gratified by the strong support we have received from Boston Scientific's and Guidant's shareholders," said Boston CEO Jim Tobin. "We are excited about the prospect of creating a global leader in cardiovascular devices, and we are eager to begin working with our colleagues at Guidant to realize the substantial benefits this combination will bring to shareholders, employees, physicians and patients." Some analysts say Boston, a maker of drug-coated stents that are used to prop open arteries that have been cleared of blockages, might have to wait until as late as 2010 before the merger will add to its earnings. The companies expect to close the deal in mid-April following antitrust review from U.S. and European regulators. Abbott ( ABT) is going to acquire Guidant's vascular-intervention business in order to help the merger win antitrust clearance. When Boston agreed in January to buy Guidant, it said it would pay an additional 1.32 cents a share in cash for each day the merger closing was delayed beyond March 31. That would amount to about $4.5 million a day.