In a move that will create the globe’s second biggest beer group, food and tobacco giant Philip Morris has agreed to offload its Miller Brewing unit to London-headquartered South African Breweries.

The $5.6 billion (€6bn; £3.8bn) deal sees SAB (or SAB Miller, as it will be renamed) assume around $2bn of Miller debt and gives Philip Morris the cash to embark on new acquisitions in the food and tobacco sectors.

Miller is America’s second-largest brewer, but in recent years has lost market share to number one Anheuser-Busch. SAB, meanwhile, has built a global portfolio of brands, including interests in emerging markets such as China and South Africa

Philip Morris will retain a considerable interest in the merged company, with a stake of around 36%, including 24.99% of regular voting shares.

Data sourced from: The Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff