The companies continue to need approval from competition authorities in the U.S., Europe and China. Shareholders of both companies are scheduled to vote on the transaction Jan. 6. Plans for the Jan. 6 votes were announced in definitive proxy statements sent to shareholders Friday.
Medtronic CFO Gary Ellis would not give a specific prediction of when the deal would close during the company's second quarter earnings call Nov. 18, but told analysts that setting of the shareholder votes was a good indication that company officials expect to be able to close very early in the new year.
The merger agreement requires the parties to close the deal no later than June 15, 2015.
"As far as we are concerned, they are all on track," he said. "There are still steps to kind of go through. But the fact that we called the shareholders meeting, we've got a date for it says that we've got some confidence that this will flow according to our original projections but it isn't done yet."
Scheduling of the shareholder vote ends any chance that the transaction will close in 2014. Medtronic officials' last previous public comments on timing indicated they held some hope of closing the deal this year.