Baltic Beverage Holding, a joint venture between Scottish & Newcastle and Carlsberg Breweries, has bought the Kazakhstan brewer Ak-Nar for $30m (£18.32m).

Ak-Nar is a newly built brewery that makes the popular Derbes brand. Derbes, which translates as 'independent', is the leading beer brand in the Almaty area.

Ak-Nar is the second brewery that BBH has bought in a year in Kazakhstan. At the end of 2002, BBH bought a 76% stake in Irbis brewery. BBH plans to merge the two companies.

BBH is the market leader in Russia where it has a 34% market share. The company owns 18 breweries, 10 of which are in Russia, two in Ukraine, four in the Baltic countries and two in Kazakhstan.