Arla Foods establishes joint venture in Russia
Friday 6 April 2007Arla Foods and its Russian distribution partner, Artis, have reached an agreement to form a joint venture company in Russia. The new company, Arla Foods Artis Ltd., will sell and promote cheese and butter in a rapidly growing market.
"We've developed an ambitious business plan aimed at strong growth in Russia over the next few years," says Max Sørensen, who is responsible for Arla Foods' markets in Eastern Europe.
"Our joint venture partner has a strong and proven record in sales and distribution of dairy products, particularly in the St. Petersburg region. The next step is to expand into Moscow and other Russian cities, which are enjoying impressive economic development."
Arla Foods has been exporting Swedish and Danish butter and cheese products to Russia for many years, in the past decade in partnership with Artis of St. Petersburg as distributor. The new joint company will be responsible for marketing, selling and distributing dairy products under Arla Foods' brands, and products such as yellow cheese, cream cheese, blue cheese and butter will be available through all Russian retailers.
Arla Foods Artis Ltd will be 75 per cent owned by Arla Foods while Mikhail Lyasko, the current owner of Artis Distribtion, will have a 25 per cent stake. Mikhail Lyasko will also become Managing Director of Arla Foods Artis Ltd, which will have its main office in St. Petersburg and employ approx. 130 people.
"The joint venture opens up a range of new opportunities for reaching Russian consumers," says Finn S. Hansen, Head of the Overseas Division in Arla Foods.
"We believe that our shared competencies provide the right growth vehicles as they will enable us to create the distribution required to initiate stronger marketing campaigns and thereby establish and grow Arla Foods within key dairy categories."
The agreement between Arla Foods and Artis must be approved by the Russian competition authorities.