Page last updated at 13:33 GMT, Monday, 31 March 2008 14:33 UK

S&N shareholders approve takeover

Newcastle Brown Ale
The takeover battle for S&N started last November

Shareholders of Scottish & Newcastle (S&N) have approved a 7.8bn takeover of the company by European rivals Heineken and Carlsberg.

The successful vote marks the end of the UK's largest brewer, which owns Fosters, Newcastle Brown Ale, John Smith's and Kronenbourg 1664.

The deal is now scheduled to be completed by the end of April.

Heineken and Carlsberg plan to split S&N, with its UK operations going to Netherlands-based Heineken.

Heineken and Carlsberg launched their bid for control of S&N at the end of last year.

S&N's board rejected their initial bids of 720 pence and 750p per share, before accepting 800p per share at the end of January.

'Historic day'

S&N chairman Sir Brian Stewart told shareholders it was a "momentous and historic day for Scottish & Newcastle", which was founded 259 years ago in Edinburgh and first listed on the stock market more than 120 years ago.

Though today may be an end, it is also a beginning
S&N boss Sir Brian Stewart

"While there is sadness at the passing of two and a half centuries of brewing history, the prevalent emotion today is pride," he said.

This included pride of the "strong price" achieved in the sale in "increasingly weak world markets".

"Though today may be an end, it is also a beginning; a new opportunity for our people across the globe - including many still based here in Scotland - to grow within a larger worldwide group," Sir Brian added.

Under the deal, Danish Carlsberg will assume control of the majority of S&N's overseas businesses, including its existing Russian joint venture with S&N - Baltic Beverage Holdings (BBH).

Analysts say that Carlsberg's desire to gain full control over the highly lucrative BBH was a key factor behind the takeover.

In February, S&N released its last set of annual profits for the firm, which showed that 2007 profits were 444m, unchanged on 2006, with UK profits down 8% because of the smoking ban and poor summer weather.

S&N currently employs 3,300 people in the UK, with breweries also in Manchester, Gateshead, Tadcaster and the Bulmers cider mill in Hereford.

S&N shareholders in takeover vote
30 Mar 08 |  Business
Brewer S&N warns of price rises
19 Feb 08 |  Business
Brewer S&N agrees 7.8bn takeover
25 Jan 08 |  Business
Union seeks S&N jobs guarantees
25 Jan 08 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife
Brewing deal ends centuries of history
25 Jan 08 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife
Brewer S&N agrees to offer talks
17 Jan 08 |  Business

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