Cruzan International has received shareholder support for its pending merger with The Absolut Spirits Company.

At a special meeting on Friday (17 March), the rum and brandy distiller's shareholders voted in favour of the merger agreement between the two drinks companies.

"Shares representing approximately 95.9% of Cruzan's stock, including 88.5% of the shares not affiliated with (Absolut) and its affiliates, approved the merger agreement," the company said.

Absolut, itself a subsidiary of Sweden's V&S Group, acquired its controlling 63.6% of Cruzan's common stock from rum and bitter producer Angostura in September last year, pursuant to which Absolut agreed to pay US$28.37 in cash for each issued and outstanding share of Cruzan's common stock it did not yet own.

The parties expect to complete the transaction on or about Wednesday (22 March), with details of the exchange procedures, including letters of transmittal, to be sent to stockholders after closing.