Belgian company Anheuser-Busch InBev and Turkish brewer Anadolu Efes have merged their existing Russia and Ukraine businesses in a bid to become the market leader in the two countries.

This agreement follows AB InBev’s acquisition of a 24 per cent stake in Anadolu Efes as part of the company’s combination with SABMiller, which was completed in October 2016.

The name of the combined company would be AB InBev-Efes and both firms will have equal representation on the board of directors, with Tuncay Özilhan, current chairman of the Anadolu Group and Anadolu Efes, serving as the chairman.

Both businesses have agreed in principle to the nomination of Dmitry Shpakov, the current president of the AB InBev Russia and Ukraine businesses, as the chief executive candidate to lead and run the combined AB InBev-Efes business, and to the nomination of Roy Cornish, the current managing director of Efes-Rus, as its chief financial officer candidate.

Carlos Brito, chief executive of AB InBev, said: “Today’s announcement is a significant step in furthering the strategic partnership of AB InBev and Anadolu Efes and we look forward to a successful combination delivering a broader range of beer choices to consumers in both Russia and Ukraine.”