SABMiller has slightly increased its stake in Tanzania Breweries after acquiring shares sold on the open market by its ex-business partner, Diageo.

SABMiller said today (19 January) that it has bought an extra 4.72% of Tanzania Breweries, increasing its stake in Tanzania's leading brewer to 58%. This equates to a 36% economic interest in the beer producer, SABMiller said.

It bought the extra shares on the open market. The public share sale was opened by Diageo-controlled East African Breweries Ltd (EABL), which agreed to drop its 20% stake in Tanzania Breweries in order to gain regulatory approval to acquire 51% of the country's second largest beer maker, Serengeti Breweries.

SABMiller would have liked to buy up all of EABL's 20% stake, but this proved impossible. The Castle lager brewer said: "SABMiller Africa BV applied for all of the shares offered, but the offer was substantially oversubscribed." It said that "priority allocations were made to applicants who were Tanzanian residents or East African residents in accordance with local securities laws". 

In the past two years, SABMiller and Diageo have sought to disentangle their operations in East Africa.