UK-based private-label ice cream maker R&R Ice Cream has acquired Italian ice cream manufacturer Eskigel.

The acquisition, for around EUR77m (US$94.5m), will give R&R an “immediate and major” presence in Europe’s largest ice cream market, the company said.

Own-label ice cream manufacturer Eskigel recorded net sales of EUR81m in 2011. It operates from a facility in Terni, north of Rome and its product range includes ice cream sticks, ice lollies, cones, tubs and ice cream sandwiches.

Earlier this year, R&R Ice Cream was reportedly set to be put up for sale by majority owner US private-equity firm Oaktree Capital Management. Oaktree formed R&R in 2006 when it acquired UK ice cream maker Richmond Foods and combined it with French asset Rocadin.

The company also makes own-label ice cream for retailers across Europe and has licensing deals with the likes of Nestle and Kraft Foods.

R&R, however, has not commented publicly on the speculation.

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