Fazer: will not purchase Volzhky pekar´s shares

Helsinki / FI. (fg) Fazer Group and the Tver bakery OAO Volzhky pekar made a decision in June 2007 about the initiation of strategic co-operation and Fazer purchasing the majority of the bakery´s share capital. During this autumn, however, Fazer and Volzhky pekar have both realized that neither party is at the moment prepared to carry out the planned deal. Fazer´s target is still to continue growing in Russia both through acquisitions and organic growth.

«As we already have stated, Volzhky pekar is a very interesting bakery company. In our mutual discussions, however, we have not so far been able to find a common view on the direction of Volzhky pekar´s future development. Therefore, both of us see that time is not ripe for the deal, and Fazer will not be purchasing the majority of Volzhky pekar´s share capital at this point. We will continue operative cooperation nevertheless, says Fazer´s Group President Karsten Slotte.

Fazer is one of Russia´s leading bakery companies. During the past three years, Fazer´s bakery operations in Russia have grown at an average rate of ca 40 percent annually, and today they constitute 14 percent of the Group´s turnover. Fazer has during the past ten years invested 130 million EUR in its operations in Russia and the Group´s four bakeries in Russia employ 3’500 people. In addition, Fazer has since year 2006 operated in the food service business in Russia. The operations were at first were aimed at offering high class food service to international and Scandinavian companies operating in St Petersburg, and they have started off very well. Fazer Amica also opened its first restaurant in St Petersburg in September.

«According to our strategy, Russia still is one of our main growth areas. Our target is to continue growing both through acquisitions and organic growth, and to double our turnover in five years. We are very pleased with the development», stresses Group President Karsten Slotte.