Cadbury Schweppes has received the go-ahead from shareholders to demerge its North American drinks business.

The UK-based company, which last week posted a 3% lift in quarter one sales from its Americas Beverages unit, saw shareholders vote on Friday (11 April) 99.4% in favour of the subsidiary's demerger to become Dr Pepper Snapple Group.

"This is a historic day for Cadbury Schweppes with shareowners overwhelmingly voting to separate the confectionery and beverage businesses after 40 years together," said company chairman Sir John Sunderland. "Today's decision is a key step in the strategic evolution of the company towards the creation of two world leading consumer goods companies.

"Cadbury and Dr Pepper Snapple Group are both well placed to flourish as independent companies. I am confident that the focus allowed by their separation will translate into improved performance and rewards for shareowners in the years ahead."

The last day of dealing for Cadbury's ordinary shares and ADRs will be 1 May. Ordinary shareowners will receive 64 ordinary shares in Cadbury plc, and 36 Cadbury plc beverages shares for every 100 Cadbury Schweppes shares. Listing of DPSG shares in New York will commence, as planned, on 7 May.