Anheuser-Busch Shareholders Agree to Buyout by InBev

Deal remains subject to regulatory approval.

U.S. brewing giant Anheuser-Busch's shareholders approved a contested takeover by Belgian rival InBev on Wednesday to create the world's biggest brewer, the European firm announced. The takeover for $52 billion, still subject to regulatory approval, was expected to be completed by the end of the year, InBev said in a statement. InBev, which did not indicate the percentage of Anheuser-Busch shareholder approval, said its own shareholders had approved the combination on Sept. 29. "A closing date has not yet been announced, but both InBev and Anheuser-Busch continue to expect that they will complete the transaction by the end of the year," InBev said. While ending Anheuser's roughly 150 years of independence as a premier American brewer, the deal creates not only the world's largest beer company but one of the top five consumer goods groups in the world. The new company will have net sales of about $36 billion a year. Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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