The Moscow beer company, Efes Brewery, part of the Turkish beer and malt group, Anadolu Efes, has announced plans to acquire the Urals-based brewery, Amstar.

The two companies have signed a preliminary agreement for the cash-and-share swap deal which is thought to be worth at least US$50m. Efes is planning to acquire 100% of Amstar, including a minority stake held by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

The acquisition will add around 1.2m hls to Efes' brewing capacity in Russia. The company, which has a 3% to 4% share of the Russian beer market, is also set to gain a further 1m hls in additional capacity with the opening of a new brewery in Rostov.

The PIT brewing group, owned by US company, Detroit Brewing, had also been linked with a bid for Amstar. PIT is a close competitor of Efes. Efes is the sixth largest brewer, while PIT is currently the seventh largest. Detroit Brewing is now reported to be in negotiations to acquire the Afanasy-pivo brewery in Tver.