Dairy giant Arla Foods has been given the go-ahead for its cheese and butter venture in Russia.

The Denmark-based group said today (11 October) that Russian competition authorities had cleared the formation of Arla Foods Artis.

Arla first moved to set up the business in April when it signed a deal with local distribution partner Artis.

Arla will own a 75% stake in the business with its partner, Mikhail Lyasko, holding the remaining shares. Lyasko will also take on the role of MD of Arla Foods Artis.

"We see long-term potential in our joint company and will now begin to grow the business and get an even better insight into our customers and the Russian consumers' requirements," said Max Sørensen, who is responsible for Arla Foods' business in Eastern Europe.

Arla Foods Artis will be responsible for marketing, selling and distributing dairy products under Arla Foods' brands. Products such as yellow cheese, cream cheese, blue cheese and butter will be available through all Russian retailers

The company will be based in St. Petersburg, employing around 130 people.