SABMiller has announced that it has acquired a 99.84% stake in the Ukrainian brewer CJSC Sarmat for an undisclosed sum. The value of the gross assets of Sarmat, which is one of the largest brewers in the Ukraine, is understood to be around $130m. Upon completion of the deal, which is still to be approved by the Ukrainian competition authorities, Sarmat will operate a brewery in Donetsk with an annual capacity of 2.9 million hecto-litres. The move will give SABMiller access to one of the fastest growing beer markets in the world, with a four year growth rate to 2006 of 14% per annum, and with a medium term growth forecast that exceeds that of any other major Central and Eastern European market. Alan Clark, managing director of SABMiller Europe, said: “We are delighted to announce the acquisition of Sarmat and our entry into the fast growing and attractive Ukrainian market. “The Ukrainian beer market has recorded exceptional expansion in recent years, driven by strong economic growth, but it still remains behind other CEE countries in terms of per capita beer consumption.”

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