Global Finance takes majority stake in leading Bulgarian dairy company

Global Finance has just concluded a € 5.1 million investment in the United Milk Company (UMC), a Bulgarian dairy company with leading market shares in fresh milk, yogurt and cheese.

UMC produces and markets a wide range of dairy products under a number of brand-names. With a turnover in 2002 of more than € 13 million, UMC leads the fresh and UHT milk markets with market shares around 25% and competes in the first tier of the yogurt market with a market share of around 10%. With a turnover in exports of more than € 3 million, UMC accounts for some 30% of Bulgarian cheese exports.

UMC's plans include a major upgrade of its production facilities as well as investments in milk collection and distribution. The company is also hoping to conclude within the next months the acquisition of a significant regional player, which could add up to 10% to its market shares. UMC also plans to launch value-added dairy products produced under license from Yoplait of France. Global Finance has been already working closely with the company to strengthen the management team, install systems and procedures and define its strategy.

While this is Global's 6th investment in Bulgaria, it is its first majority deal, a fact that underscores Global's commitment to the country and its ability to structure and conclude deals with local partners. Global's Black Sea Fund, a $ 100 million fund, is actively pursuing investment opportunities between $ 5 and $ 10 million in the Balkans and the region.

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