New owners for Russian groups?

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Related tags: Russia, Investment, United states

Investment fund Russia Partners II has acquired the Moscow-based
Ice-Fili ice cream producer and confectionery group Zvezdny,
according to a report in the Vedomosti newspaper.

The paper reported that the fund had announced the takeover of the companies, but said that no shareholder in either firm had confirmed the sale.

Russia Partners II is a successor of Russia Partners fund established in 1994 by Siguler Guff & Company.

The paper said that two companies have 26 per cent stakes in Ice-Fili - the Russian General Bank and the Fund of Director Investments of NIKoil corporation - with a further 15 per cent controlled by the state and municipal property department of Moscow. A 30 per cent stake is held by the GUTA group.

As for Zvezdny - described by the paper as Russia's largest producer of frozen pizza - it is controlled by the Russian General Bank which holds more than 60 per cent of its shares. The state and municipal property department of Moscow has 35.29 per cent. The bakery and confectionery producer is said to have posted sales of around $18 million.

The paper also cited analyst Alexei Krivoshapko of UFG as saying that the fund could easily have afforded to buy both companies outright, according to the latest estimates. Ice-Fili is thought to be worth around $12-15 million while Zvezdny is valued at $9-10 million, well within the usual investment range ($10-20 million) for Russia Partners II

Related topics: Markets, Emerging Markets