Shareholders of Canadian shellfish harvesting and processing giant Clearwater Seafoods on Thursday approved the sale of the company to Premium Brands Holdings and a coalition of Mi’kmaq First Nations.

The deal, announced in November, was approved on an almost unanimous vote at a special meeting of shareholders, Clearwater said Thursday.

If the transaction closes after Jan. 29, but on or before April 30, shareholders will receive CAD 8.30 ($6.54/€5.33) in cash per Clearwater common share.

The combined seafood operations of Clearwater, Premium Brands and the participating communities is expected to generate more than CAD1.3 billion ($1 billion/€835 million) in annual sales, with the majority of Clearwater's sales, approximately 89 percent, outside of Canada.

In March, Clearwater announced it had initiated a formal process to identify, review and evaluate a broad range of potential strategic alternatives, including a possible sale of the company.

Clearwater said at the time it was undertaking the review because it had received "several expressions of interest," the company said.