Shareholders of Avondale Industries Inc., a New Orleans-based cargo-ship builder, approved the sale of the company to Litton Industries Inc. for $576.7 million in cash and assumed debt. About 71% of Avondale's outstanding shares were voted in favor of the transaction, which will be completed Aug. 2. Woodland Hills-based Litton agreed June 1 to acquire Avondale for $39.50 a share and assume $47 million of debt. The purchase would strengthen Litton's position as the Navy's third-biggest shipbuilder behind General Dynamics Corp. and Newport News Shipbuilding Inc. Litton also wanted to purchase Newport News, but that bid was scuttled in May by the Pentagon, which said the cost savings from the combination weren't significant enough to outweigh the reduced competition. Avondale shares rose 19 cents to close at $39.56 on Nasdaq; Litton rose 19 cents to close at $70.31 on the New York Stock Exchange.
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