MILK: Rigas Piena Kombinats Attracts Large Investments

15 Jun 2011 • by Natalie Aster

Latvian dairy processor Rigas Piena Kombinats (RPK) has just attracted a very serious investment: Russian investor and billionaire Andrey Beskhmelnitsky has increased its capital by EUR 14.9m.

Beskhmelnitsky previously was the chairman of Russian dairy processor Unimilk, which merged with the French dairy giant Danone in 2010. He now holds a place in the new company's board of directors.

The company, however, is reluctant to provide any additional details, for example, the new shareholder structure of RPK. When talking about the reasoning behind the generous investment, RPK remains just as elusive.

"RPK has been the leader of Latvian milk processing industry for years," says Irena Berzina, spokesperson for RPK, to news2biz. "Our company has always had a stable, economically sound strategy both in the local and the export market. Financial investors tend to prefer companies with clear plans and good future prospects, which is something that we have."

Considering the company's new investor, it seems that at least some of its "clear future plans" are connected with Russia. Indeed, says Berzina: "The investments will allow us to purchase new equipment and introduce new technologies, which in turn will give us new opportunities in the Latvian, Russian and European markets." Russia, along with other CIS countries, already is a strong export market for RPK.

RPK has more than 600 shareholders, including farmers who supply its raw material, other companies and local governments. Its 2010 turnover reached LVL 53.5m, a 28.6% increase from 2009.

However, 2010 also brought LVL 1.45m in losses. The company explains the loss with the fluctuations in the prices of raw materials and finished products.

The above news abstract has been taken from a bi-weekly newsletter to professionals doing business in Latvia "news2biz – Latvia".

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