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Danone Joins Russian Milk Projects to Expand in Biggest Market

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Nov. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Danone, the world’s biggest yogurt maker, said it is joining forces with Russian entrepreneur Naum Babaev to expand further in the French company’s biggest market.

The Activia maker will provide an undisclosed amount of financial support to Babaev’s Damate Group in the construction of several milk farms in Russia’s Bashkortostan and Tyumen regions, according to a statement released today. The entire output of the farms will be sold to Danone factories, it said.

The two projects require combined investments of 14.4 billion rubles ($450 million), Damate has said previously.

The factories will together produce 193,000 metric tons of raw milk per year.

Russia became Danone’s largest market by sales after the French company acquired local producer Unimilk in 2010.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ilya Khrennikov in Moscow at ikhrennikov@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at kwong11@bloomberg.net

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