SABMiller has begun buying the remaining 3% of shares in Colombian brewer Bavaria on the open market.

The brewing giant already owns close to 97% of Bavaria and is in the process of snapping up the remaining stake, a spokesman told just-drinks today (16 December).

In July, SABMiller paid US$4.8bn to Bavaria's owners, the Santo Domingo family, for a 71.8% stake in the company.

Earlier this month, SABMiller launched an offer for the rest of Bavaria's shares on the Colombian Stock Exchange. When the offer closed on 6 December, SABMiller had paid US$1.2bn for a further 25.19%, taking its total interest in Bavaria to 96.96%.

The spokesman added that SABMiller's latest offer would run until 23 December.

"The value of the offer will be fixed at US$19.48, which is what we offered (on 6 December) and what was offered to the Santo Domingo family."

He declined to comment on whether SABMiller would delist Bavaria's shares from the Colombian Stock Exchange.