Shareholders of BankAmerica Corp. and Security Pacific Corp. approved the companies' merger on Thursday, but BankAmerica's chairman, Richard M. Rosenberg, said the deal would not be completed in February as had been expected.

Mr. Rosenberg told the BankAmerica shareholders he expects the closing to take place in the spring.

The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco has not yet formally accepted BankAmerica's merger application.

And negotiations with the Fed and the U.S. Department of Justice over branch sales to meet antitrust considerations have not been completed.

Delays Called Routine

Until the antitrust discussions are concluded, the number of branches and amount of deposits to be sold remain uncertain.

A senior BankAmerica official characterized the delays as routine and said formal Federal Reserve acceptance of the application was expected within a few days. He said the deal will be completed in April at the earliest.

At a 90-minute meeting in San Francisco, BankAmerica stockholders voted 142 million shares, or about 98%, in favor of the merger, which will form a holding company with some $200 billion in assets.

Voting Margin Is Same

Meeting simultaneously in Los Angeles, Security Pacific's holders also voted 98% of their shares for the merger.

Virtually all the shareholders who spoke at Security Pacific's 75-minute meeting blasted the management and board for the company's poor performance.

The only light moment was provided by chairman Robert Smith, who in a slip of the tongue asked shareholders to carefully consider the "murder transaction."

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.