VEVEY, SWITZERLAND — Nestle S.A. and R&R, a United Kingdom-based ice cream company, have agreed to set up Froneri, a joint venture with sales of around 2.7 billion Swiss francs ($2.8 billion) in more than 20 countries employing about 15,000 people. Froneri will be headquartered in the U.K. and will operate primarily in Europe, the Middle East (excluding Israel), Argentina, Australia, Brazil, the Philippines and South Africa.
The new company will combine Nestle and R&R’s ice cream activities in the relevant countries and will include Nestle’s European frozen food business (excluding pizza and retail frozen food in Italy), as well as its chilled dairy business in the Philippines.
Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
|Paul Bulcke, c.e.o. of Nestle|
“This is an exciting growth opportunity in a dynamic category,” said Paul Bulcke, chief executive officer of Nestle. “Froneri will capitalize on complementary strengths and innovation expertise, combining Nestle’s strong and successful brands and experience in ‘out-of-home’ distribution with R&R’s competitive manufacturing model and significant presence in retail.”
Ibrahim Najafi, c.e.o. of R&R Ice Cream, added, “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 organizations will create a leading team, ideally suited to drive future growth.”
Founded in 1985 in North Yorkshire, England, R&R Ice Cream is owned by private-equity firm PAI Partners. R&R is the world’s third-largest ice cream manufacturer, behind Unilever and Nestle. The company previously acquired Nestle’s ice cream units in the U.K. and South Africa.
“Froneri, through the combination of Nestle’s and R&R’s expertise, and the backing of PAI Partners, is a unique and exciting opportunity for further strong growth,” said Frédéric Stévenin, partner at PAI Partners. “We look forward to further leveraging our industrial approach to ownership and strong consumer expertise to support R&R in this new venture.”Luis Cantarell, Nestle executive vice-president for Europe, Middle East and North Africa, will chair Froneri’s board of directors, which will be composed of three senior Nestle executives and three senior executives appointed by private equity firm PAI Partners. Mr. Najafi will be c.e.o. of Froneri.