Wanted: investor who likes milk

  • 1998-10-15
  • By Kairi Kurm
TALLINN - The Tallinna Piimatoostus dairy is on the lookout for a strategic foreign investor, which it says is essential to increase its competitiveness on the European market.

That was the message the dairy passed to Uhispank when it authorized the bank to find a buyer for 75 percent of its shares.

These shares are owned by the holding company Epeks, and the rest of the dairy's 80 million kroon ($6.1 million) share capital belongs to different funds.

Estonia's largest dairy Uhinenud Meierei is eyeing the sale of its competitor's shares and is ready to swallow the stake before a foreign investor gets its hands on it, according to recent media reports.

Tallinna Piimatoostus is the second largest dairy controlling about 18 percent of the local market and is the market leader in yogurts, curd creams and fresh creams.

Unlike other Estonian dairies, Tallinna Piimatoostus is less connected to the Russian market. It sells most of its products on the domestic market. Only 15 percent of the company's 500 million kroon turnover comes form sales in Russia.

"Uhinenud Meiereid has not made any concrete proposals to Tallinna Piimatoostus. There is not enough capital in Estonia, to make the necessary investments into Tallinna Piimatoostus," said Raul Kalev, spokesman at ETFC, a managing group that owns Tallinna Piimatoostus. Foreign investments into Estonian companies should be part of the natural progress and part of the dairy's effective development strategy, said Kalev.