Nestle, the world's largest food company, is in talks to acquire Progress OAO, a Russian juice and baby food producer, to expand its presence in the baby foods market in Russia, the local business daily paper Kommersant today reported, citing unidentified people with knowledge of the deal.
Switzerland-based Nestlé had outbid other suitors including US food giant Heinz and French food-products company Groupe Danone, a manager of a large food distributor was quoted as saying by the paper.
The Lipetsk-based company may be valued at around $350 million and the deal may be announced by the next two weeks.
Progress, a subsidiary of Progress Capital, is Russia's fifth biggest maker of baby food. The company's product portfolio comprises concentrates, fruit and vegetable juices, nectars, berries drinks, fruit, among others.
Progress owns three brands, Frutonyanya and Malysham - food, juices and nectars for babies, as well as Lipetskiy Byuvet, mineral water brand.
The baby food market in Russia is expected to increase by 18 per cent by 2015 and Russian parents are prepared to spend a large amount of money on their babies' needs, despite the economic situation not being stable and prices are relatively high.