Drinks giant SABMiller has acquired London-based craft brewer Meantime Brewing Company.

SABMiller European managing director Sue Clark said the acquisition would help the company appeal to female drinkers.

The purchase of the 15-year-old company is expected to be completed in June 2015.

SABMiller said it planned to expand sales of Meantime's products in the UK, and possibly export them to Europe.

"We love local variety, and carefully nurture our 200 local and heritage beers," said Clark.

"They see the opportunity, and believe in the longevity, of modern craft beer in the UK," said Meantime's chief executive, Nick Miller.

SABMIller said that Meantime had seen a 58% growth over the past year, while the UK beer industry in general grew by just 1%.

Meantime's beers, which include London Porter, India Pale Ale and Yakima Red, will join beer brands such as Peroni Nastro Azzurro and Pilsner Urquell in the SABMiller stable.