Shareholders of both Chiron Corp. and Cetus Corp. on Tuesdayapproved the proposed merger of the two companies.

In a joint statement, the Emeryville, Calif., companies said the$300 million sale of Cetus' polymerase chain reactiontechnology to Hoffmann-La Roche Inc. is to be completed todayand the merger is to be completed on Thursday.

About 10 million new shares of Chiron stock will be issued inexchange for all shares of Cetus outstanding, at a ratio of three-tenths of a Chiron share for each Cetus share, bringing to 30million the number of Chiron shares outstanding.

Chiron (NASDAQ:CHIR) closed unchanged Tuesday at $64. Cetus(NASDAQ:CTUS) lost 13 cents to $18.88. Cetus shares will ceasetrading on NASDAQ at the close of trading on Thursday.

The merged company will focus in four areas: diagnostics,vaccines, therapeutics with an emphasis on cancer, andophthalmics. After the merger, Chiron will have about 1,500employees worldwide, but the company plans a 10 percentworkforce reduction in late January.

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