Efes Breweries International is to become the Russian distributor for the Netherlands' number two brewer Bavaria.

The two companies today (27 April) announced a deal that will see EBI brew and distribute Bavaria's flagship brands in Russia. Bavaria Premium and the non-alcoholic Bavaria Malt will be brewed under license by Moscow Efes Brewery, EBI's main site in Russia.

EBI chief executive Ahmet Boyacioglu said: "We continue to expand our product portfolio in line with our strategy to further solidify our competitive positions in our operating territories. Introducing Bavaria Premium to the dynamically growing Russian beer market will enable us to offer a wider and stronger international brand portfolio."

The move comes three months after EBI boosted its brewing capacity in Russia with the acquisition of Krasny Vostok. The acquisition propelled EBI's market share in Russia to over 10%, cementing its position as the fourth-largest brewer in Russia.

Frank Swinkels Jr, a board member at Bavaria, added: "Bavaria has very ambitious plans for Russia. We know for sure that we will fulfil these plans together with EBI in Russia, having witnessed the growth and development of EBI's business in the last 5 years."

Bavaria Premium holds a 3.6% share of the fast-growing premium segment in Russia and joins EBI's local portfolio, which includes Stary Melnik and Sokol as well as licensing agreements for Efes Pilsener, Zlatopramen and Warsteiner.