Whitbread obtained shareholder approval for its proposed sale of its coffee chain Costa to Coca-Cola for an enterprise value of £3.9 billion ($5.1 billion) at a general meeting held in London.
On Thursday morning, Whitbread announced that 99.27 percent of its shareholders voted to approve the sale.
This deal was previously announced on August 31 and was met with widespread investor support with shares closing more than 16 percent higher that day.
Whitbread had previously said the price reflects a "substantial premium to the value that would have been created through the previously announced demerger given the Coca-Cola system's global product distribution and vending platform."
In the lead up to its decision to sell the coffee business, the British hospitality company faced intense pressure from shareholders, led by activist investor Elliott Advisors. The hedge fund congratulated the board of Whitbread on the Costa transaction when it was initially announced. At the same time, the fund noted that it "look(ed) forward to continuing to engage with them to maximise the value of the remaining businesses."
Whitbread intends to return a significant majority of net cash proceeds from the deal to shareholders, as well as reduce financial indebtedness and make a contribution to the company pension fund. These measures are intended to provide headroom for further expansion of its Premier Inn hotel chain in the U.K. and Germany.
Whitbread joins a raft of other consumer companies engaging in deal-making in the beverage sector, in coffee, in particular, to bolster growth.