Global brewer Anheuser-Busch (AB) InBev has completed a 50:50 merger of its existing businesses in Russia and Ukraine with those of Turkey-based brewer Anadolu Efes.

Future Russian and Ukrainian operations will occur under the name AB InBev Efes and it will be fully consolidated in Anadolu Efes’ financial accounts.

The merger was first announced in August 2017 and the companies have now received regulatory approval in both countries and have completed all binding transaction agreements.

This follows AB InBev’s acquisition of a 24% stake in Anadolu Efes as part of AB InBev’s merger with SABMIller in October 2016.

Anadolu Efes owns 14 breweries in Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia, seven of which are located in Russia and Ukraine. In 2012, it took over SABMiller’s Russia and Ukraine operations and became the second largest beer manufacturer in Russia.

The brand has experienced growth in the declining Russian beer market because it initiated projects aimed specifically at the market, including focusing on its more expensive, better quality products such as Peroni, Bavaria, Efes Pisener and Bochonka.

AB InBev’s Ukrainian and Russian businesses exist under its Sun InBev brand. It owns five breweries in Russia and holds the second largest market share in the country of 13.9%. It produces and distributes a range of local and global beers including Budweiser, Stella Artois, Tolstyak and Klinskee.

According to Euromonitor, in 2016 Sun InBev Ukraine controlled 30% of volume sales in Ukraine, making it the market leader helped by brand recognition and its large portfolio of beers. Its Chernigivske product was one of the most popular.

Journal.Beer estimates that AB InBev and Anadolu Efes together account for a quarter of beer sales in Russia in 2017.

The two brewers intend to continue to build on the strength of their brand portfolio in Russia and Ukraine in order to enlarge their market share.