Foster's shareholders approve SABMiller takeover

1st December 2011, Comments 0 comments

Shareholders of Australian brewing giant Foster's on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a multi-billion-dollar takeover offer by British-based SABMiller.

At a meeting, 99.1 percent of shareholder votes cast were in favour of Foster's being handed over to foreign ownership for the first time in its 150-year history.

Treasurer Wayne Swan last week approved the deal as in the national interest.

"This is a historic day for this great Australian brewing company," said Foster's chairman David Crawford.

"While the ownership of Foster's will soon change, the beer and the brands will still be produced in Australia and be developed and brewed by Australians."

Swan's approval came on the condition that management of operations for the company -- which owns the nation's largest brewer, Carlton and United Breweries -- remain in Australia.

SABMiller also promised not to relocate any of Foster's existing brewing facilities offshore to produce beer for Australian domestic consumption and to continue to invest in its Australian brand portfolio.

The takeover now only requires approval from the Supreme Court of Victoria state, which will consider the transaction on Friday. If approved, Foster's shares will cease trading on the Australian market.

Shareholders will then receive Aus$5.40 per share, valuing the company at Aus$10.48 billion.

© 2011 AFP

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