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Danone to Dispose of Stake in Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods

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Danone to Dispose of Stake in Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods

Danone to Dispose of Stake in Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods
August 12
11:26 2010

Danone has agreed to sell its 18.4% stake in Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods to the Russian food group for a total consideration of $470m. The agreement follows the recent announcement of the joint-venture between Danone and Unimilk in the CIS region. The deal is conditional upon Danone receiving the necessary regulatory approvals for the merger of its fresh dairy products operations in the CIS region with Unimilk.

Wimm-Bill-Dann will fund the transaction from existing resources and will not require additional financing. “This agreement represents the amicable conclusion of Danone’s investment in our company, an investment Danone has held since our IPO in February 2002. This announcement and the outright purchase of our own shares reflect our confidence in the fundamentals of the business and our strategy for the future,” says Tony Maher, chief executive of Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods.

Tony Maher, chief executive of Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods.

Founded in 1992, Moscow-based Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods has grown rapidly to become the largest producer of dairy, baby food and beverage products in its native Russia and the CIS. The group employs over 16,000 people across 37 manufacturing facilities in Russia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Georgia. In 2005, Wimm-Bill-Dann became the first Russian dairy producer to receive approval from the European Commission to export its products into the European Union.

Since 2002, Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods has been expanding its geographical footprint by acquiring successful businesses in Russia and the CIS, and investing heavily in modernising its production facilities. Its strategy is to produce its core products in the regions where they are sold.

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