Anheuser-Busch has upped the ante in its battle for control of Harbin Brewery. The US brewer has topped a rival takeover bid by SABMiller today, by acquiring a further 7% stake in the Chinese company.

According to an announcement on the Website of Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission, AB has paid HK$388.37m for the additional 7%. The purchase means that AB now holds a 36% stake in Harbin. Under Hong Kong Stock Exchange rules, a company must make an offer for the remaining shares it does not hold once its stake breaks 30%.

The HK5.58 (US$0.72) per share paid by AB for the purchase beats SABMiller's offer for Harbin's remaining shares by 30%. Last week, SABMiller bid HK$4.30 for the remaining shares in the brewer. The move was seen by Harbin's board as hostile.