Colombian brewer Bavaria is to buy a 58% stake in Cerveceria Nacional, the Panamanian brewer, with the possibility of taking full ownership at alter stage, it was reported yesterday.

Details of the value of the deal were not disclosed but it is thought that Cerveceria is worth an estimated US$285m in total.

In a statement, Bavaria president Ricardo Obregon said: "We are making concrete steps to become Colombia's first multinational.

Cerveceria employs 2000 workers and had revenues of US$149.5m last year, with net incomes of US$18.1m.

The move extends Bavaria's reach across the region. The brewer already owns Ecuador's main brewer Compania de Cervezas Nacionales and Bavaria said, including the Panama acquisition, foreign-sourced revenues would now reach US$236m a year.