In a statement issued earlier today, Swiss dairy giant Nestlé said it will contribute its ice cream businesses in Europe, Egypt, the Philippines, Brazil and Argentina to the proposed joint venture.
Europe's largest private label ice cream manufacturer, R&R - acquired by Paris-based private equity firm PAI Partners in June 2013 - will join the joint venture in its entirety.
Nestlé and PAI Partners will own equal stakes in the business, which if established will operate in more than 20 countries and employ more than 10,000 people.
"We are pleased to be in talks with R&R and its owners PAI Partners," said Paul Bulcke, CEO, Nestlé.
"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.”
The parties have worked together for the last 14 years - first in the UK and Ireland and, more recently, in South Africa and Australia, where R&R licenses Nestlé brands.
In the UK and Ireland, R&R licenses Nestlé brands, including Rowntrees, Kit Kat and Smarties.
“We are pleased to be in talks with Nestlé and building on our 14 year history working together," said Ibrahim Najafi, CEO, R&R.
"We are excited about combining the respective talents of R&R and Nestlé’s people to drive further growth in this 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."
The proposed joint venture will be led by Najafi as CEO and Luis Cantarell, Nestlé's executive vice president for Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, as chairman.
The board will be comprised by representatives from Nestlé and PAI Partners in equal proportions.
Establishment of the joint venture, which is scheduled for 2016, is subject to the conclusion of the talks, an employee consultation and regulatory approvals.