SABMiller (SAB) investors overwhelming backed the multi-billion takeover offer from AB InBev (ABI) this morning, dispelling concerns that activist hedge funds would try to derail the deal.

A total of 75% of sharehodlers needed to back the deal, but the approval was complicated by SABMiller’s decision to exclude its two biggest shareholders from the crucial vote, meaning just 15% of shareholders could block the deal.

However, even with Colombia’s Santo Domingo family and cigarette manufacturer Altria – who represent over 40% of SABMiller shares – not voting at the UK Scheme Court Meeting, the deal still secured 95.5% of the votes cast.

Votes representing 678m shares voted in favour of the deal, while votes representing just 32m shares voted against.

A number of investors had previously voiced their unhappiness over the dual structure of the bid, which effectively gives Altria and BEVCO preferential treatment.

AB InBev responded to these complaints in July by raising its bid for SAB from £44 per share to £45 per share, which was recommended by the SAB board

AB InBev shareholders also voted to support for the deal today by passing all resolutions that ere proposed in connection with the acquisition.

Commenting on the shareholder vote, Carlos Brito, CEO of AB InBev said: “We are pleased that our shareholders’ vote brings us one step closer to combining our companies, teams, strong heritage and passion for brewing. We are committed to driving long-term growth and creating value for all our stakeholders.”

It is expected that SABMiller shares will be delisted from the London Stock Exchange on 6 October 2016 and the merger will become effective in Belgium on 10 October.