companies and markets

Danone, Unimilk merge CIS dairy operations

29.06.2010 |

French dairy firm Danone and Unimilk (Russia) have agreed to unite operations in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Belarus. The merger will make Danone-Unimilk the leader for dairy products in the CIS area, with a 21% share of the Russian dairy market. The new entity will generate annual sales of around 1.5 billion euros and will be chaired by Andrey Beskhmelnitsky, current CEO of Unimilk. Filip Kegels, Danone´s general manager for fresh dairy products in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, will take charge of operational management. Danone will control 57.5% of the new firm and expects the operation to be accretive to earnings per share in 2011. As a result of the transaction the net debt of Danone will grow by EUR 1.3 billion, mostly, as a consequence of the cost of options put provided to shareholders of Unimilk. These options will give them an opportunity to sell a part or all of their shares to the new company, and Danone will be able to boost their share to 100% in 2022, the firms said the statement.

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