Ab InBev shareholders approve Megabrew deal with SABMiller

Ab InBev shareholders have given their backing to the proposed Megabrew deal with SABMiller.

Investors in Anheuser-Busch InBev voted on the £79bn takeover of its rival at a meeting in Brussels this morning.

“We are pleased that our shareholders’ vote brings us one step closer to combining our companies, teams, strong heritage and passion for brewing,” said AB InBev chief exec Carlos Brito.

“We are committed to driving long-term growth and creating value for all our stakeholders.”

SABMiller’s investors are also voting on the takeover today. Last month, the High Court ruled the brewer’s shareholders could be split into two classes when voting on the tie-up.

Minority investors voting on a £45 per share all-cash option and the group’s two majority shareholders, cigarette maker Altria and Colombia’s Santo Domingo family, voting on a joint stock and cash option.

The two firms expect the combination to complete on 10 October, provided all shareholders vote in favour of the transaction. There had been some fears that the minority investor vote could derail the takeover – US hedge funds controlling around 20 per cent of SAB shares could unintentionally scupper the deal, because they failed to convert their holdings from options and derivatives into voting shares.

Meanwhile, other minor investors, such as Aberdeen Asset Management, have previously slammed AB InBev’s offer for SABMiller.

If the deal completes, it will be the biggest merger in British corporate history.

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