The companies plan to create an ice cream joint venture which would employ more than 10,000 people and operate in more than 20 countries, mainly in Europe and Africa.
R&R ceo Ibrahim Najafi welcomed the talks aimed at building on previous joint projects and driving further growth in the ice cream category.
“The vision of the proposed joint venture is to grow a unique consumer and customer focused ice cream business serving all channels, delivering innovative, high quality ice cream through investment in people, process and products,” Najafi said.
‘Sell more ice cream’
“The ambition of the proposed joint venture will be to sell more ice cream through meeting and exceeding customer and consumer needs.”
View from Nestlé
“Combining the capabilities of our two companies in this way would offer an exciting opportunity for future growth in a dynamic category.”
- Paul Bulcke, ceo at Nestlé
Nestlé would contribute its ice cream businesses in Europe, Egypt, the Philippines, Brazil and Argentina and its European frozen food business, excluding pizza, to the joint venture.
Nestlé ceo Paul Bulcke said: “We are pleased to be in talks with R&R and its owner PAI Partners.
“We have a long-standing relationship with R&R. Combining the capabilities of our two companies in this way would offer an exciting opportunity for future growth in a dynamic category.”
Nestlé’s brands and out-of-home distribution would complement R&R’s manufacturing model and retail presence under the arrangement due to be implemented in 2016.
Each company would own half of the joint venture with Najafi as ceo and Luis Cantarell, Nestlé executive vice president for Europe, Middle East and North Africa, as chairman.
The companies said they have worked together for the past 14 years, first in the UK and Ireland, and more recently in Australia and South Africa.
R&R already manufactures Nestlé ice cream brands including Fab and Fruit Pastilles lollies and Kit Kat and Smarties cones.
History of R&R
1985 – Farmer Jonathan Ropner acquires ice cream manufacturer Cardosi, creating Richmond Ice Cream
2001 – Richmond acquires Nestlé’s ice cream business in the UK
2006 – Richmond merges with German manufacturer Roncadin, creating R&R Ice Cream
2013 – R&R was sold to private equity firm PAI Partners
2015 – R&R acquires Nestlé’s ice cream business in South Africa