27 Apr 2016 --- Nestlè has confirmed that it is setting up a joint venture with Britain’s R&R Ice Cream which will sell ice cream and frozen food in over 20 countries, as the Swiss giant looks to offer stronger competition to Unilever.
The joint venture is called Froneri and will employ around 20,000 people.
Froneri will be based in the UK and will operate across Europe, the Middle East, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, the Philippines and South Africa.
The joint venture, which was first mooted six months ago, will combine Nestlè and R&R ice cream activities as well as Nestlé’s European frozen food business (excluding its pizza and retail frozen food in Italy) as well as its chilled dairy business in the Philippines.
However, it doesn’t include key markets such as the US.
Ownership of the joint venture will be split equally between Nestlè and R&R’s private equity owner PAI Partners.
Paul Bulcke, Nestlè chief executive, said: “This is an exciting growth opportunity in a dynamic category. Froneri will capitalise on complementary strengths and innovation expertise, combing Nestlé’s strong and successful brands and experience in ‘out-of-home’ distribution with R&R’s competitive manufacturing model and significant presence in retail.”
Nestlè, whose ice cream sales are around $3 billion a year, is embarking on the joint venture as it looks to drive up sales and provide increased competition against Unilever, the world’s biggest ice-cream maker which owns the Magnum and Ben & Jerry’s brands.
R&R makes own-label ice cream for retailers as well as under licence for brands including Nestlè.
Froneri will have combined sales of around $3.1 billion.
Ibrahim Najafi, R&R chief executive, said: “I am thrilled about the potential of Froneri and the opportunity for R&R to combine with the biggest and best food business in the world.”
“R&R has gone from strength to strength in the last few years and the blend of people from the two organisation will create a leading team, ideally suited to drive future growth,” said Najafi.
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