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The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will participate in a capital increase planned for Danone Industria, the Russian dairy sector subsidiary of France’s Danone group, that will help finance expansion plans, allowing the company to more than double annual production to 310,000 tonnes by 2007.
The additional investment of up to €
17.5mn will enable the EBRD to maintain its stake in the company at the existing level. The EBRD initially invested US$21mn in the company in 2001. The transaction is part of a US$100mn regional facility under which the EBRD has so far committed US$74mn for equity investments in five Danone projects in Russia, Bulgaria, Romania and Poland.
Danone Industria started production in Russia in 1995. It operates two dairy plants whose combined capacity today is 120,000 tonnes a year. The new project will allow Danone to expand the area from which it collects milk to 10 new regions west and south of Moscow, as well as introduce new products onto the Russian market.
Danone Industria is Russia’s second largest producer of yoghurt.
As a top company in its sector globally, Danone brings great expertise in developing fresh dairy products to Russia, notably in developing reliable milk supplies, says Hans Christian Jacobsen, director of the EBRD’s agribusiness team.
The EBRD is the largest investor in the agribusiness sector across its 27 countries of operation, with 212 investments worth in excess of €