Shareholders smile on £2.7 billion bid for Greene King

Shareholders in Greene King have overwhelmingly backed a £2.7 billion deal for Hong Kong’s richest family to take over the London-listed brewer and pub owner.

Investors holding 99% of the shares in Greene King voted for the bid at a meeting on Wednesday.

The deal, which offered a 51% premium on the share price on August 16, transfers ownership to Cayman Islands-based CK Bidco.

Green King sale approved
It is the second deal for a British pub chain since January when Japan’s Asahi bought Fuller’s (Andrew Matthews/PA)

The firm is controlled by CKA Group, chaired by Victor Li, the son of Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing.

Shareholders in CKA voted through the deal ahead of the Greene King meeting on Wednesday.

The chain employs 38,000 staff across its 2,700 pubs, restaurants and hotels in the UK.

When the deal was announced in August, CKA said it was looking for businesses with strong cash flows.

“The UK pub and brewing sector shares these characteristics and we believe that this sector will continue to be an important part of British culture and the eating and drinking-out market in the long run,” said George Magnus, an economist and non-executive chairman designate of CK Bidco.

It is the second time this year Asian investors have swooped on a British pub chain. In January, Fullers sold its beer business to Japanese drinks company Asahi for £250 million.

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