It’s official: Smithfield Foods’ $4.7 billion sale to a Chinese meat processor is one step closer closer toward being completed.

On Tuesday, Smithfield Foods shareholders voted to approve a deal to sell the pork producer to Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd.

According to USA Today, more than 96 percent of the votes were cast in favor of purchase, clearing the last major hurdle to seal the deal. 

Smithfield announced the acquisition by Shuangui in May, the largest takeover of a U.S. company by a Chinese firm. Both companies have said that the deal is expected to close soon after the shareholder vote.  Read more here.

The deal came under scrutiny by Congress as opposition to the deal grew louder. Starboard Value LP, an investor in Smithfield Foods, Inc., initially tried to derail the deal.  However, last week Starboard announced it had dropped its fight and would not formalize an alternative takeover bid.

Meatingplace reports that Smithfield executives, including CEO C. Larry Pope, stand to make millions on the sale. The executives have repeatedly tried to reassure critics that nothing will change in the way Smithfield does business or the company’s senior leadership.

"It will remain business as usual — only better — at Smithfield, and we look forward to embarking on this new chapter," Pope said in a news release announcing the vote results. 

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