Tobacco shareholders back acquisition

Madrid: Imperial Tobacco shareholders have backed the firm's €16.2bn (£11bn) acquisition of Franco-Spanish tobacco company Altadis. At an extraordinary general meeting in Bristol this week, the deal was backed by 99.8% of shareholders. Imperial Tobacco must now win approval from Altadis' shareholders and Spanish regulators. It already has the backing of Altadis' board of directors and the deal is expected to be completed by the end of 2007.