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Nestlé and the UK’s R&R Ice Cream have announced the completion of a deal to create Froneri, a joint venture in ice cream, frozen food and chilled dairy.

Combining sales of £2.16bn, Froneri is set to merge the two suppliers’ ice cream activities in Europe, the Middle East (excluding Israel), Argentina, Brazil, the Philippines, Australia and South Africa. It will also include Nestlé’s European frozen food business (excluding pizza and retail frozen food in Italy), as well as its chilled dairy business in the Philippines.

Since being unveiled in April, the new joint venture has seen the finalisation of employee consultations and approval by regulatory authorities. It will have its HQ in the UK and employ about 15,000 people in more than 20 countries. Financial details are not being disclosed, but Nestlé and R&R’s owner, private equity firm PAI Partners, will have equal equity interests.

R&R Ice Cream CEO Ibrahim Najafi will be Froneri CEO, while Luis Cantarell, Nestlé’s executive vice president for Europe, Middle East and North Africa, will chair Froneri’s board of directors, which will be composed of three senior Nestlé executives and three senior executives appointed by PAI Partners.

Earlier this year, Nestlé CEO Paul Bulcke hailed the “exciting growth opportunity in a dynamic category”. He added: “Froneri will capitalise on complementary strengths and innovation expertise, combining Nestlé’s strong and successful brands and experience in out-of-home distribution with R&R’s competitive manufacturing model and significant presence in retail.”