Nestlé S.A., Switzerland, and R&R, a UK-based ice cream processor, created Froneri, a joint venture that employs about 15,000 people in over 20 countries. Froneri will be headquartered in the UK and will operate primarily in Europe, the Middle East (excluding Israel), Argentina, Australia, Brazil, the Philippines and South Africa. The new company will combine Nestlé and R&R’s ice cream activities in the relevant countries and will 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. Financial details are not being disclosed.

“This is an exciting growth opportunity in a dynamic category,” says Paul Bulcke, chief executive officer of Nestlé. “Froneri will capitalize 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.”

“I am thrilled about the potential of Froneri and the opportunity for R&R to combine with the biggest and best food business in the world,” adds Ibrahim Najafi, R&R Ice Cream CEO. “R&R has gone from strength to strength in the last few years, and the blend of people from the two organizations will create a leading team, ideally suited to drive future growth.”

Luis Cantarell, Nestlé executive vice president 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 private equity firm PAI Partners, R&R’s owner, based in France. Najafi will be Froneri CEO. Nestlé and PAI will have equal equity interests in the joint venture.