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June 30, 2011

RUSSIA: Private-equity firm Volga buys stake in Russian Sea Group

Private-equity firm Volga Resources has acquired a stake in Russian Sea Group, the Russian seafood processor.

By Dean Best

Private-equity firm Volga Resources has acquired a stake in Russian Sea Group, the Russian seafood processor.

The Luxembourg-based investment fund has snapped up around 30% of Russian Sea Group for an undisclosed sum.

The deal will see Volga and RS Group, the seafood firm’s majority shareholder, create a new company that will own 60.9% of the business. Volga and RS Group will each own half the new company.

RS Group owner Maxim Vorobiev, who owned 61.4% of Russian Sea Group before the transaction, said the partnership with Volga would help expand the business.

“Our new partner’s international business experience as well as its financial strength will contribute to [the] rapid, profitable and sustainable growth of the group,” Vorbiev said. “I will continue to be actively involved in the company, and as chairman, will remain in charge of the overall development of the group.”

Russian Sea Group sells, ready-to-eat, chilled and fresh seafood across Russia. The chilled and frozen unit sources fish from suppliers in 18 countries, including Marine Harvest.

The Russian firm operates a production facility in Noginsk, 40km from Moscow and claims to supply to 85% of the country’s regions.

Volga chairman Chlodwig Reuter said Russia’s food industry – and in particular the fish sector – are “young and dynamic” with “great growth potential”.

He said: “This acquisition allows us to diversify away from our more traditional sectors of oil and gas. We are confident that the management, together with RS Group and Volga Resources, will successfully develop the business and take it to the next level.”

A spokesperson for Russian Sea Group said the company would look to develop its acquaculture operations and its portfolio of ready-to-eat products.

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