Restaurant Group shareholders approved the planned the £559m takeover of Wagamama today, but 40 per cent of shareholder votes opposed the deal.
The vote sent the Restaurant Group's share price down by almost 10 per cent.
The Frankie and Benny's owner had been set for a shareholder showdown after a number of investors voiced their intentions to vote down the proposed acquisition to buy Wagamama from private equity firm Duke Street.
But despite 39.6 per cent of shareholder votes opposing the deal, a senior Restaurant Group executive told City A.M. it was “not the knife edge” that had been expected.
Not a single question was asked by investors at a general meeting to vote on the acquisition this morning.
One shareholder backing the deal said: “People had made up their mind, the die was already cast.
“I'm a big fan of our restaurants and Wagamama will be a good addition to the business.”
The full result, published by the group revealed 60.43 per cent of votes were in favour of the deal and 39.57 were against.
Restaurant Group chairman Debbie Hewitt said: "We are pleased that the majority of our shareholders have approved the acquisition and the associated rights issue, and we would like to thank them for the support they have shown.
"We are confident that the deal will create significant long-term value.
"The acquisition of Wagamama creates a raft of new opportunities for us to capitalise on in the months and years ahead."
Ahead of the vote Columbia Threadneedle Investments – a top five investor that controls a 7.7 per cent stake in The Restaurant Group – said that it would be opposing the Wagamama buyout over concerns around the size and the price of the deal.
The Restaurant Group said that the price was justified by the company’s growth rate and by the cost savings generated by combining the Asian food chain with its own operations.
A number of major shareholders also publicly supported the deal, with Schroders, Royal London Asset Management and J O Hambro all backing the proposals.
Influential proxy advisors Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) and Glass Lewis recommended that shareholders pass the proposals, while Pirc urged investors to oppose the deal.