Shareholders at BancorpSouth and First United Bankshares have approved a merger that would create one of the largest banking companies in the South.

BancorpSouth of Tupelo, Miss., and First United, of El Dorado, Ark., announced plans to merge in May. The shareholder vote, announced Thursday, paves the way for the two companies to complete a $455 million deal scheduled to close Aug. 31.

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