The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is investing up to €17.5m (US$21.1m) in the Russian subsidiary of French dairy products group Danone, allowing the company to more than double its annual production to 310,000 tonnes by 2007.

OOO Danone Industria would also be able to collect milk from ten additional regions west and south of Moscow and launch new products; it is already Russia’s second largest yoghurt producer.

The EBRD initially invested US$21m in the Russian subsidiary in 2001. The bank has injected $74m equity investments into five Danone projects in Russia, Bulgaria, Romania and Poland.