Shareholders of the Philippine's food and drink giant the San Miguel Corp have given the green light to the sale of a 15% percent stake in the company to Japan's Kirin Brewery Co Ltd. San Miguel and Kirin have been waiting for approval since December when they agreed a US$540m deal.

The ratification is the last hurdle the deal needed to cross after the government and San Miguel Chairman Eduardo Cojuangco arrived at an agreement last week. The government agreed to back the Kirin deal in exchange for San Miguel taking on five of its nominees on the company's board.

Government votes make up some 44% of San Miguel stock, while Cojuangco votes on about 22%.

Through the acquisition, Kirin is looking to expand its hold in Asia. San Miguel, meanwhile, is said to be keen to utilise the Japanese brewer's network to allow it to penetrate more markets in the region.