Spanish processed meat maker Campofrio Food Group is to set up a joint venture with Romania's second-largest meat firm Caroli Foods Group.

The partnership, which will operate under the Caroli Foods Group name, will see the two processed meat firms combine operations in Romania and neighbouring territories including Bulgaria, Moldova, Serbia, Ukraine and Turkey.

The venture will create the leading company in the Romanian processed meat market with a combined market share over 16% and turnover exceeding EUR120m (US$164m), Campofrio said.

However, while Romania will continue to be the primary focus, the joint venture will look to develop its presence across south-eastern Europe.

A spokesperson for Campofrio told just-food: “Our strategy is to grow our leadership in Eastern Europe. We are looking to consolidate countries in which we are present and other countries mainly within Europe. [The partnership] is our platform to develop further business in Eastern Europe.”

Caroli Foods will hold a 51% stake in the company, while Campofrio Food Group will hold a 49% stake.

The group will have a five-member board that will be chaired by Caroli chairman Talal El Solh.

Haluk Akdemir, the current CEO of Caroli Foods, will become the CEO of the joint venture.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approval.