The founder and chairman of Russian dairy and baby food group Wimm-Bill-Dann has labelled the agreement to sell a majority stake in the business to PepsiCo as “historic”.

US food and drink giant PepsiCo is to pay US$3.8bn for a 66% stake in Wimm-Bill-Dann. 

Once the deal is finalised, the Quaker and Lay’s owner then plays to buy the remaining shares in Wimm-Bill-Dann, which is the largest producer of dairy products in Russia and the CIS.

Sergei Plastinin, who founded Wimm-Bill-Dann in 1992, served as CEO until 2006 and became chairman again in May, claimed the deal with PepsiCo was historic for the business and the whole of Russia.

“Wimm-Bill-Dann was founded just 18 years ago with a handful of employees, who were all based in one room, which saw the birth of our company name, our logo and our first juice brand, J7,” Plastinin said.

“Today we announced the planned coming together of our company with one of the most successful and best-known global companies. This represents a tremendous vote of confidence in the future of the Russian market.”

Earlier today, announcing the deal, PepsiCo chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi said the deal would make the company the largest food and drink firm in Russia, a market she described as “fast-growing, strategically important market offering abundant opportunity”.