Kirin Holdings has acquired a 19% stake in Philippines-based San Miguel Brewery for PHP26.2bn (US$547m), the Japanese brewer has said.

Kirin said yesterday (30 April) that it has bought up 19% of shares in San Miguel Brewery, from parent firm San Miguel Corp.

The move is the first step in Kirin's plan to take an eventual 48% stake in San Miguel Brewery.

Earlier this year, Kirin agreed to acquire an initial 43% stake in the brewer from San Miguel Corp for PHP59bn. It also launched a tender offer to acquire all shares in San Miguel Brewery not owned by San Miguel Corp, potentially increasing its stake to 48%.

"Completion of the transfer of all San Miguel Brewery shares Kirin intends to acquire is expected at the end of May 2009," Kirin said yesterday.

Separately this week, Kirin said that it has agreed to buy up all shares that it does not own in Australian brewer Lion Nathan, for A$3.3bn (US$2.36bn).