The subsidiary of Raisio Group, Raisio Nutrition, has bought a dairy in Istra, just outside Moscow and is due to start production there as soon as government regulations are fulfilled.
The acquisition requires an approval from the Russian Competition Authorities, but once the deal is confirmed Raisio intends to transfer some existing production lines there.
Raisio says that its margarine exports to Russia have collapsed after the peak years before the economic crisis hit the country. The main reasons for this were created by the 15 per cent protective duties and strong growth of the local production supported by lower cost base.
However, at some areas in Russia, like St. Petersburg and Moscow for example, Raisio's brands Voimix and Dolina Skandi are well known and their market shares currently exceeds 10 per cent.
The company plans to invest about €2 million to start the production in Russia improves, which it say will significantly improve its competitive power in these markets. Margarine production is estimated to start by the end of 2003. Raisio already has sales, marketing and distribution organisation in Russia.
The Raisio Group is a growing international industrial group whose operations are divided into three business sectors: Raisio Chemicals, Raisio Nutrition and Raisio Life Sciences.
Raisio Nutrition comprises the Food, Animal Feeds and Malt business areas and the Grain Starch business. Well-known Raisio brand names in Finland include Elovena, Sunnuntai and Keiju. The main product of the Raisio Life Sciences business sector is the Benecol ingredient, stanol ester, which helps to reduce cholesterol.
Raisio Group employs some 2,800 personnel, 45 per cent of whom work abroad. It has production units in 29 localities in 14 countries. The group has sales offices all over the world.