SABMiller has emerged as a favourite to clinch the acquisition of the Italian brewer Peroni, according to a number of reports today.

It is believed that the brewer, itself a result of a merger between Miller Brewing and South African Breweries last year, could agree a sale worth in the region of £418m in the next few weeks.

SABMiller is seen as a good fit for Peroni, as there is little overlap between the two businesses to concern competition regulators. Peroni also has export strengths that would be attractive to the SABMiller portfolio.

Scottish & Newcastle, Carlsberg and Heineken are the main competitors to a SABMiller bid also believed to be interested.