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Lion Nathan shareholders overwhelmingly approve A$3.4b Kirin takeover

Thursday 17th September 2009

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Shareholders of Lion Nathan overwhelmingly approved Japanese brewer Kirin Holdings A$3.4 billion offer for the 53% of the company it doesn’t already own.

Some 98.8% of eligible shareholders voted in favour of Kirin’s A$12 a share offer, which represents a higher price that the stock has ever reached. The deal will merge Lion’s brewing operations with Kirin’s National Foods dairy and fruit juice unit, creating Australia’s biggest food and drinks group.

Shares of Lion edged up 0.2% to A$11.95 on the ASX today. For Kirin, moving to control of Lion is part of a global scaling up, including a potential merger with Japanese rival Suntory Holdings that would create a brewer with 50% of Japan’s beer market.

It acquired 43% of San Miguel Corp.’s brewery unit this year, gaining a share of the manufacturer that dominates the beer market in the Philippines.

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