Paymentech Inc.'s stockholders have approved First Data Corp.'s agreement to buy their company's publicly traded outstanding shares.

The deal is expected to close soon. Paymentech's operations will be combined with those of Banc One Payment Services LLC, First Data's merchant bank alliance with Chicago-based Bank One Corp.

According to Atlanta-based First Data, the new organization will be the nation's second-largest merchant processor by number of transactions, at 2.5 billion a year.

First Data will have a 47.5% stake in the combined entity and Bank One will own the remaining 52.5%.

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