The head of SABMiller's business in India is moving to take a role in the brewing giant's expanding operations in South America.

SABMiller India managing director Richard Rushton is set to transfer to a unspecified position in South America, the company said today (14 July).

The London-listed brewing giant is looking to upgrade and expand its operations in South America after last year's acquisition of Colombian brewer Bavaria. The company said last month that it was mulling plans to build a brewery near the Colombian city of Cali, a project that could cost up to US$150m.

An SABMiller spokesman told just-drinks (14 July) today that Rushton's appointment would be "announced in due course".

Rushton will be replaced in India by Jean-Marc Delpon de Vaux, who will take the position on 1 August. Delpon de Vaux has already spent a number of months at SABMiller in "a supporting capacity", the spokesman said. He joins SABMiller from Unilever, where he held senior positions including chairman and CEO of Unilever Pakistan and most recently of Lever Faberge in France.

Delpon de Vaux said: "While there continue to be a number of challenges, particularly with regards to the slow progress of industry reform, I believe that SABMiller India has the brands, the people and expertise to triumph."

SABMiller is the second-largest brewer in India and has been lobbying the country's federal and state governments to de-regulate its beer market. According to SABMiller, on a per unit alcohol basis, the tax on beer in India is the highest in the world.