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Shareholders of Poland's PKN Orlen approve takeover of gas firm PGNiG

FILE PHOTO: The logo of PKN Orlen, Poland's top oil refiner, pictured at a petrol station in Warsaw

WARSAW (Reuters) - Shareholders of Polish refiner PKN Orlen on Wednesday approved the takeover of gas company PGNiG, bringing the oil firm closer to becoming what the government says will be a national energy champion able to compete with global players.

Shareholders owning at least two-thirds of Orlen shares had to back the merger terms to approve it. It received 81.9% of votes in favour, results of the vote showed. PGNiG shareholders are due to vote on the merger next month.

On Monday, the government cleared the terms of the merger under which PGNiG shareholders will get 0.0925 PKN Orlen shares for each share they hold. The government plans to sell 2% of Orlen shares, as part of the merger.

Poland seeks to create a global player to boost its energy security and shoulder the country's move away from fossil fuels while maximising opportunities in the oil, gas and electricity sectors.

Earlier this, year Orlen merged with smaller rival Grupa Lotos to create central Europe's biggest integrated oil refiner.

(Reporting by Marek Strzelecki and Anna Koper; editing by Alan Charlish and Jason Neely)