Danone and Unimilk have finalised the merger of their fresh dairy businesses in Russia and other CIS countries, creating a new entity with annual sales of about ?1.5bn.
Controlled by Danone, the new business will have a leading position in the CIS region, especially in Russia, where it will have a 21 per cent market share.
Danone will hold a 58 per cent equity interest in the new entity, which will count 18,000 employees with operations in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus.
Four members of the board of directors will come from Danone and three from Unimilk, including the chairman Andrey Beskhmelnitsky.
The new entity will be consolidated in Danone financial statements from December 1, 2010.