Danone and Unimilk finalize merger creating the new leader for dairy products in the CIS area. Russia now Danone’s largest market.
Danone and Unimilk have finalized the merger of their Fresh Dairy Product businesses in Russia and other CIS member countries.
The new entity, controlled by Danone with a 58% equity interest and in which former shareholders of Unimilk own 42%, is headed by a board of directors. Three of its members, including the Chairman, Andrey Beskhmelnitsky, represent Unimilk, and four members, including Bernard Hours and Pierre-André Terisse, represent Danone.
Filip Kegels, previously General Manager of Danone Fresh Dairy Products in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, is in charge of operational management.
An integration committee has been set up to coordinate Danone and Unimilk teams during the integration phase and ensure that business targets are met.
The new entity will be consolidated in Danone financial statements from December 1, 2010.
Unimilk, a privately owned company, is Russia’s second largest manufacturer of dairy products and baby food. Its mission is to raise quality of life through selection of best dairy products. Established in 2002 it unites 28 production plants in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus and 14,000 employees. The Company also sells its products in Kazakhstan. Unimilk owns the leading dairy brand in CIS “Prostokvashino” and has a strong brand portfolio in all market segments. Unimilk’s sales in 2009 amounted to € 1 billion (+7% vs. 2008).
Danone is a Fortune 500 company and one of the most successful healthy food companies in the world. Its mission is to bring health through food to as many people as possible. Fulfilling this mission is a major contributor to Danone’s continuous strong growth. Danone, with 160 plants and around 80,000 employees, has a presence in all five continents and over 120 countries. In 2009, Danone recorded € 15 billion in sales. Danone enjoys leading positions on healthy food in four businesses: fresh dairy products (n°1 worldwide), water (n° 2 on the packaged water market), baby nutrition (n°2 worldwide) and medical nutrition. Listed on Euronext Paris, Danone is also ranked among the main indices of social responsibility: Dow Jones Sustainability Index Stoxx and World, ASPI Eurozone and Ethibel Sustainability index.
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