Groupe Danone today (8 September) revealed that it has acquired the Ukrainian market leader in the fresh dairy category JSC Molochnyi Zavod "Rodich".

Danone has identified the Ukrainian fresh dairy market, which has expanded by an average of 15% over the last three years, as offering considerable scope for growth. The French dairy giant has been active in the region since 1999 when it started importing value added products such as Activa, Actimel, Rastichka and Danissimo.

The acquisition will considerably strengthen the company's Ukrainian operations, adding traditional products such as kefir and Smetana to Danone's existing portfolio. The majority of these will continue to be manufactured in Ukraine, the company said.

The acquisition also enhances Danone's local distribution and milk sourcing capabilities, the company said.

Molochnyi Zavod "Rodich" posted sales of EUR10m (US$12.76m) in 2005. The purchase price was not disclosed.

The completion of the transaction is subject to various conditions, including regulatory approvals.