Global food giant Nestle today announced the acquisition of Ruzskaya Confectionery Factory (RKF), one of Russia's leading chocolate manufacturers.
The purchase will help strengthen the company's position in the profitable Eastern European market, where Nestle already has about 10,000 employees in 13 factories in Russia alone.
Once the move is approved by the Russian Federation authorities, subsidiary Nestle Rossiya will acquire chocolate products under the Comilfo and Ruzanna brands.
"The high-quality image of these brands ideally complements Nestlé's chocolate brand portfolio in Russia, and will boost Nestlé's presence in the fastest growing segment of the Russian chocolate market, the premium category," the company said.
The company also hopes to boost the presence of these brands in Russian regions outside Moscow and Saint Petersburg.
According to Nestle, RFK had net sales of $51m in 2006, and the company estimates sales to experience organic growth rate of 40 per cent in 2007.
Both parties declined to disclose the acquisition price.
According to market analysts Euromonitor, Nestle is currently the second largest confectionery company in Western Europe after Cadbury, with 9.1 per cent of the market share.
Successful brands include Milkybar, Kit Kat, Smarties Aero and Polo, and the company has boosted sales in recent years through acquisitions in emerging markets, said analyst Irina Kazanchuk
"Nestle's successful strategy contributed to reinforcing the global standing of the Swiss giant at a world level," she said.