Moscow food producer buys diary plant in St. Petersburg

Large participants of the Russian milk market continue obtaining dairyplants. On August 28, the Wimm-Bill-Dann food producer stated its claimsfor North-West Russia. The company purchased the Roska diary plant, anoutsider of the St. Petersburg market.In the opinion of analysts, Wimm-Bill-Dann will have to spend several tensof millions of dollars to approach the positions of regional leaders atleast a little. The St. Petersburg dairy market is currently dividedbetween two companies - the Petmol diary plant, which have a 40-percentshare in the market, and the Piskaryovsky diary plant with 20-25 percent ofthe market.According to the estimates of Wimm-Bill-Dann, Roska is an insignificantmarket participant. Its share is estimated at 0.5 percent. Meanwhile,Wimm-Bill-Dann first vice president for strategic development YevgenyChvertkin believes that Roska has a great potential.Wimm-Bill-Dann has been trying to strengthen its positions in St.Petersburg since 2000. After a failure of negotiations on buying Petmol'scompanies and the Piskaryovsky plant, Wimm-Bill-Dann started constructingits own factory. However, this project has not been implemented yet,either. However, the purchase or Roska does not mean that constructionactivities will be stopped, Chvertkin stated. But no matter the cause ofthe construction, the purchase of Roska is the top priority forWimm-Bill-Dann. For its $11.7m, the company has actually bought only aproduction platform; new equipment is necessary for it to startfunctioning, the Izvestia newspaper reported..

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