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French Dairy Giants' Fate in Russia: Danone's Departure, Lactalis and Savencia Stand Firm

Russia 11.04.2024
Source: The DairyNews
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In March, the Russian chapter of Danone's journey came to an end following a decree by Vladimir Putin, marking a significant setback for the French dairy behemoth. While Danone faced challenges, Lactalis and Savencia remain resolute, despite garnering interest from Russian entities.
French Dairy Giants' Fate in Russia: Danone's Departure, Lactalis and Savencia Stand Firm
A decree from the Russian government on March 13 removed Danone's local subsidiary from the list of temporarily controlled companies, effectively concluding the French agri-food group's Russian venture. Danone, one of the pioneering multinationals to establish a presence in Russia in August 1992, entertained offers from local giants like Rusagro and EkoNiva-APK in early 2023. Initially eyeing a sale representing 5% of its turnover for 500 million euros, Danone eventually sold its stake to Vamin Tatarstan, a Russian dairy company associated with Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, for 177 million euros. The transaction, fraught with complexities, reflected the intricate landscape of Russian business dealings.

In contrast, Lactalis and Savencia maintain their foothold in Russia, although they attract attention from local players eager to capitalize on their market presence. Lactalis, operational in Russia since 2003 with four production sites, has piqued the interest of Sergey Bachin, a prominent Russian businessman leading Agranta Group. Despite this interest, both Lactalis and Savencia have yet to indicate any intention to divest their Russian operations, demonstrating their steadfast commitment to the market amid ongoing developments.
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