SABMiller has agreed to acquire the Slovakian brewer Topvar. Topvar is located in the city of Topoľčany in Western Slovakia and sold 569,000 hectolitres of beer in 2004.

Under the terms of the agreement with the controlling shareholders, SABMiller will make an offer to acquire all the shares of the minority shareholders in the company (40.5% interest).

Depending on the level of acceptances under the offer, the controlling shareholders, who have a 59.5% interest in the company, have agreed to sell sufficient shares such that SABMiller's interest will be at least 33%, but not more than 49% of the issued share capital.

Six months after the acquisition of the initial stake, the controlling shareholders will sell further shares to enable SABMiller to increase its interest to at least 67% of Topvar. The remaining shares held by the controlling shareholders are subject to put and call arrangements exercisable within 18 months of SABMiller acquiring the Additional Shares.

The transaction is conditional upon Slovakian Anti-monopoly Office approval, a minimum level of acceptances under the offer and the fulfilment of certain technical requirements. Provided the minimum level of acceptances under the Offer is met, the transaction will provide SABMiller with an interest in Topvar of at least 95%.

The value of the net assets to be acquired is approximately US$15.2m.

Alan Clark, managing director of SABMiller's European division, said: "This acquisition complements our existing operations in Slovakia and strengthens our overall position in Central Europe. Topvar brings to SABMiller a strong local brand, an excellent distribution platform in Western Slovakia and a quality production site. The acquisition reflects our strategy of optimising and expanding our positions in developing markets and we anticipate brand, procurement and distribution benefits arising from the transaction."