The world's second largest brewer SABMiller announced today that it has closed its deal to acquire a controlling stake in the Italian brewer Birra Peroni.
 
SABMiller has acquired 60% in Birra Peroni for €246m and has entered into put and call arrangements with shareholders who have not sold their stake initially which, when fully exercised, will result in SABMiller increasing its shareholding in Birra Peroni to 97.8%.

The deal marks the first significant investment in the Western European market for the world's number two brewer.

Birra Peroni holds a strong number two position (25.2% share) in the growing Italian beer market, with 2002 revenues of €494m ($560m) and adjusted EBITDA of €44.8m. Its brands include Peroni, the number one beer in Italy, and Nastro Azzurro, the number three brand in the premium segment.