UK’s R&R Ice Cream, owned by funds controlled by PAI Partners, France, and Nestlé S.A., Switzerland, are in advanced discussions to set up a new joint venture covering ice cream based in Europe and Africa.

The proposed joint venture will capitalize on the strengths and innovation expertise of the two companies. For example, it will combine 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.

“We are pleased to be in talks with Nestlé and building on our 14-year history working together,” says Ibrahim Najafi, chief executive officer of R&R. “We are excited about combining the respective talents of R&R and Nestlé’s people to drive further growth in this category. The vision of the proposed joint venture is to grow a unique consumer- and customer-focused ice cream business serving all channels and delivering innovative, high-quality ice cream through investment in people, process and products. The ambition of the proposed joint venture will be to sell more ice cream through meeting and exceeding customer and consumer needs.”

R&R will join the new proposed joint venture in its entirety. Nestlé will contribute its ice cream businesses in Europe, Egypt, the Philippines, Brazil and Argentina and transfer its European frozen food businesses, excluding pizza. This combination will give the proposed joint venture a presence in both developed and emerging markets across the northern and southern hemispheres in complementary channels. It is intended that the new proposed joint venture will be led by Luis Cantarell, current Nestlé executive vice president Europe, Middle East and North Africa, as chairman, and Ibrahim Najafi as CEO. The supervisory board will be composed from both Nestlé and PAI Partners, in equal proportions.

R&R and Nestlé have worked together for the past 14 years, initially in the UK and Ireland, and more recently, in Australia and South Africa where R&R licenses Nestlé brands.