Danone has sold its shares in Russian dairy group Wimm-Bill-Dann, a deal that looked likely after the French food giant joined forces with a second dairy group, Unimilk, in June.

The sale, announced today (12 August), will see Danone sell its 18.4% stake in the business to Wimm-Bill-Dann for US$470m.

The deal will close once Danone gets competition approval in the CIS for its venture with Unimilk. Russia gave its clearance to the venture earlier this month.

In June, Danone announced plans to merge its Russian fresh dairy business with Unimilk.

The move is set to create a business that generates annual sales of EUR1.5bn (US$1.93bn) and spanned Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus.