GLASGOW-based Stakis will move into the five-strong Metropole Hotels chain on Thursday morning, following approval of its #327m acquisition from conglomerate Lonrho by both companies' shareholders yesterday.

David Michels, chief executive of Stakis, said shareholders owning 46% of the company had voted in favour of the deal and associated #222m rights issue. Dissensions were received from investors between them holding only 0.02% of issued shares.

On a show of hands at Stakis's extraordinary meeting at its Glasgow Airport hotel, none of the 60 shareholders who turned up opposed the acquisition.

At Lonrho's extraordinary meeting, the deal was approved by investors holding 423 million shares or 54.1% of the company. It was opposed by those owning only 0.8%. The deal should now be completed on Wednesday.

Mr Michels said Anthony Harris, managing director of Stakis's hotels division, had been at work in Metropole for a number of weeks, with Lonrho's agreement.

He reiterated Stakis's intention of driving up occupancy at Metropole, which is heavily focused on providing conference facilities.

Metropole's occupancy rate is less than 68%. Stakis's is 76%.

Mr Michels, who declined to outline any specific plans before Metropole's staff were told, said: ``Our job must be to fill in the gaps we perceive. If we do fill them in, we will make the returns we want to make.''

Stakis yesterday announced plans to purchase the Maybury Roadhouse in Edinburgh from brewer Scottish & Newcastle for #2.5m.

The company intends to transfer its casino operation in Edinburgh's Picardy Place to the Maybury, and the deal with Scottish & Newcastle is consequently conditional on the granting of licences and planning permission for change of use. Scottish & Newcastle will continue to run the Maybury until April 24 next year - the anticipated completion date.

The Maybury currently operates as a banqueting and conference venue, offering 21,287 sq ft of accommodation and parking for more than 100 cars.