Whitbread shareholders have overwhelmingly approved the sale of its Costa Coffee arm to Coca-Cola for £3.9bn.

At a general meeting yesterday, 99.3% voted in favour of the deal, which represents a multiple of 16.4x Costa FY18 EBITDA.

When the deal was first announced in August, Whitbread said the deal represented a substantial premium to the value that would have been created through the previously proposed demerger.

Alison Brittain, Whitbread chief executive, said at the time: “This transaction is great news for shareholders as it recognises the strategic value we have developed in the Costa brand and its international growth potential and accelerates the realisation of value for shareholders in cash.

James Quincey, Coca-Cola president and chief executive, said: “Costa gives Coca-Cola new capabilities and expertise in coffee, and our system can create opportunities to grow the Costa brand worldwide. Hot beverages is one of the few remaining segments of the total beverage landscape where Coca-Cola does not have a global brand. Costa gives us access to this market through a strong coffee platform. I’d like to welcome the team to Coca-Cola and look forward to working with them.”

Whitbread acquired Costa in 1995, for £19m when it had 39 shops and grew the business to be the UK’s largest coffee shop company.

As part of Coca-Cola’s there is expected to be new product development, continued growth in the UK and more rapid expansion overseas for Costa.