SABMiller announced this morning that it was buying a majority stake in the Italian brewer Birra Peroni, maker of the Nastro Azzuro brand.

The transaction sees SABMiller acquire 51% to 60% of Peroni, Italy's number two brewer, for a price of up to Eu246 million (£177m).

SAB, which also owns Pilsner Urquell in the Czech Republic, said Birra Peroni would be managed as part of SABMiller Europe, which would now repesent almost 22% of total SABMiller beer volumes.

Birra Peroni has 25.2% of the Italian market, and owns the country's number one beer brand, the eponymous Peroni, which has 12.5% of the market.