CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - A North Carolina-based chicken-and-biscuits chain is one step closer to having new, New-York based owners.

The Charlotte Observer reports that Bojangles' shareholders approved the sale of the company to Durational Capital Management LP and The Jordan Company, L.P. A statement from the company says that over 88 percent of outstanding shares entitled to vote supported the proposed deal.

The sale was announced in November and is expected to close in the first quarter of the year. Under the terms of the merger agreement, stockholders will receive $16.10 per share in cash.

The chain was founded in Charlotte in 1977, and has been beset with a number of challenges since going public in 2015.

Bojangles' is expected to remain as an independent, privately held company and retain its Charlotte headquarters.