Russian dairy group Wimm-Bill-Dann is to look at expanding further in Eastern Russia where it today (24 November) announced it had acquired local dairy producer Moloko Isilkulya.

Moloko Isilkulya, based in Omsk in western Siberia, manufactures milk, sour cream, kefir, cream, curd and baked-milk product ryazhenka, all under the Utrennyaya Zorka regional brand.

The acquisition, WBD said, is in line with its strategy of expanding through “selective acquisitions of successful companies with strong market positions, established brand portfolios and a sustainable base of raw materials”.

In 2006 the company acquired Manros-M, a dairy firm also in Omsk, which comprised of four dairy plants. Manros-M, WBD said, is the market leader in the region.

“The region is very rich in terms of raw milk base and consumer demand, hence we were happy to acquire another plant in order to optimise our transportation and logistics costs and further expand into the Omsk region,” a spokesperson told just-food.

“We are present in most fast-developing regions of Russia. However, there are lots of places where small local producers have a large market share. We would like to expand into those regions,” the spokesperson added. “An acquisition could include a local, regional leader or some other niche product might be easier to buy.”

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The spokesperson added that it would concentrate on the Siberia region of Eastern Russia.

WBD declined to comment on financial details of the deal but said that it has plans for the new facility.

“We are planning to retain the employees and include them into all our corporate social programmes and benefits, which our employees receive. We are also planning to modernise the plant by increasing capacity and installing modern lines,” the spokesperson added.