Published: Thu, September 29, 2016
Economy | By Melissa Porter

SABMiller shareholders approve AB InBev merger

Shareholders at SABMiller (OTCPK:SBMRY) approved the company's merger with Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE:BUD) by a huge margin.

AB InBev shareholders also backed the transaction.

With approval now in hand, A-B InBev expects the combination of the two companies to be finalized on October 10, following a delisting of SABMiller shares on the London Stock Exchange on October 6.

The £79-billion deal was comfortably passed by the SAB shareholders who voted.

A predecessor company of London-based SABMiller, maker of Castle Lager and Foster's, started selling beer to gold miners in Johannesburg in 1895.

St. Louis will be the North American headquarters for the new AB InBev. Most SABMiller investors voting by proxy supported the takeover in advance of Wednesday's shareholder meeting, the news agency said. Criticism of the takeover offer grew after a steep fall in sterling following Britain's vote to leave the European Union made AB InBev's cash offer less appealing.

For a two-year period, the company must cooperate with the SEC and report its FCPA compliance efforts while making reasonable efforts to notify certain former employees that Anheuser-Busch does not prohibit employees from contacting the SEC about possible law violations.

AB InBev said it will retain its own name, ditching that of SABMiller.

The revised deal follows SABMiller rejecting a $79bn bid from AB InBev in July, with the latter now looking to offer as much as $103bn.

Altria and the Santo Domingos favored the deal because of a tax-efficient structure designed for them. However, some prominent shareholders, including Aberdeen Asset Management, continued to oppose it.

The Belgian-based maker of global beer brands including Budweiser, Corona, Becks and Stella Artois paid bribes to Indian officials to help boost sales in that country, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

SABMiller has around 69,000 staff in more than 80 countries, from Australia, Zambia and Colombia to the Czech Republic, South Africa and the USA, also producing more than 200 beers.

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