R&R extends empire with deal for German ice cream maker

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YORKSHIRE-based R&R Ice Cream yesterday revealed that it had signed a deal to buy a leading German-based ice cream maker.

R&R said the agreement to acquire Durigon Gelato, for an undisclosed sum, had to be cleared by the German Federal Cartel Office. Durigon, which is based at Schwanewede-Brundorf near Bremen, has 70 staff, and annual sales of 20m euros.

The company manufactures ice cream tubs, sandwiches and other ice cream products for the private label market and also under the Durigon brand. R&R plans to invest in the Durigon factory and grow sales as part of a strategy to develop its private label business in Germany.

Werner Durigon, who will continue as managing director of Durigon, said: “I am pleased that our family’s and employees’ long association with Durigon will continue within the R&R group.”

Dr Ibrahim Najafi, the chief executive of R&R Europe, said: “We are excited about the potential for Durigon through using the resource and experience of R&R to further develop a respected and long-standing family business.”

Northallerton-based R&R, which is Europe’s largest private label ice cream manufacturer, employs 650 staff in Yorkshire, and 2,000 altogether at its sites in Germany, France, Poland and the UK.

An R&R spokesman said about the latest acquisition: “It makes the group bigger and increases sales. There is no specific impact on the UK, but for the group as a whole it’s good news.”

R&R Ice Cream was created in 2006 by Oaktree Capital Management. Oaktree merged Richmond Foods with Roncadin, the largest private label manufacturer in mainland Europe. R&R’s turnover is expected to increase from 500m euros to 600m euros next year.

It has enjoyed dramatic growth under its chief executive James Lambert.