Shareholders approve tie-up of world's biggest beer makers -

Shareholders approve tie-up of world's biggest beer makers

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The Anheuser-Busch InBev logo (Credit: AP Photo/Yves Logghe) The Anheuser-Busch InBev logo (Credit: AP Photo/Yves Logghe)

LONDON (AP and — Budweiser maker Anheuser-Busch InBev's $103 billion takeover of SABMiller has cleared its final hurdle after investors approved plans to merge the world's two biggest brewers.

SABMiller said Wednesday that its shareholders approved the deal despite opposition from investors who saw their share of the payout shrink after pound plunged following Britain's vote to the leave the European Union. AB InBev shareholders also backed the transaction.

AB InBev has said it expects to cut 3 percent of its total workforce, an estimated 6,600 employees. It's not known if there will be any lost jobs in St. Louis.

St. Louis Economic Development Corporation director Otis Williams told News 4 that mergers and the layoffs they usually bring are a normal part of life. But he says good things sometimes follow mergers. 

"The immediate feedback may be some losses in some jobs but I think over the long haul there may be growth."

Williams said any layoffs  in St. Louis will be offset by the many new jobs that have been created by the many new startups and the expansion of existing tech-related businesses. 

"It is a great time in the region, it's probably the best that it's been in over a decade." said Williams.

He pointed out a that in 2006 there were 150 vacant buildings downtown but there are less than a half-dozen now.

Regulators around the world have already approved the deal, which AB InBev says will create "the first truly global brewer."

Acquiring SABMiller, which traces its roots to the former South African Breweries, gives AB InBev a large presence in Africa while increasing its business in South America and Europe. The combined company will control almost a third of the global beer market.

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