SABMiller and Efes are in a race to snap up another Russian brewer, according to local reports. Business daily Vedomosti said today (18 August) that the two companies are hoping to buy independent brewer Krasny Vostok, which is thought to be worth around US$1bn.

"A deal could happen within a month," a senior manager in a major brewing company told the paper. Vedomosti also cited an investment banker familiar with the talks, who said that a deal would be for 100% of the brewer. A third source in the report claimed that SABMiller was the front runner, although a deal had not been fully structured yet.

When contacted by just-drinks, a spokesman for SABMiller declined to comment on the report. Efes, speaking to Vedomosti, also would not comment, but added that it was keen to up its profile in the country.

Yesterday, Heineken announced that it has agreed to buy Ivan Taranov Breweries, a Cyprus-based company with three breweries in Russia.