The Board of Raven Russia is pleased to announce that it has signed a memorandum of understanding (“MOU”) with the Central Union of Consumer Cooperatives for the Russian Federation (“the Co-Op”) to develop a nationwide network of wholesale distribution centres for agricultural products.
The MOU provides for the parties to create a network of modern warehouse storage, primary processing and distribution facilities for a full range of agricultural and grocery products in different regions of the Russian Federation. Raven Russia will own these facilities and the Co-Op will lease and operate the wholesale distribution centres.
The parties envisage that the properties will comprise traditional warehouses, together with specialised storage facilities for different types of products including fresh fruit, vegetables, fresh meat and fish products and grain.
It is anticipated that Raven Russia will provide financing to the project, to permit the acquisition and development of sites along with external project finance. Unleveraged target returns are a minimum of 12 percent in Rouble terms.
The Co-Op has a 185-year history and is the central body for the consumer cooperative system in the Russian Federation that unites more than two thousand six hundred consumer societies and more than 2.5 million unit holders countrywide. These consumer societies include production organisations, purchasing centres for agricultural products, domestic services centres, public catering establishments, and shops. The member organisations provide jobs for around 200,000 people.
Anton Bilton, Executive Deputy Chairman of Raven Russia said: “We are delighted to sign this MOU with the Co-Op and anticipate developing a large scale network of distribution centres across the Russian Federation.”
Dmitriy Zubov, Chairman of the Council of the Co-Op said: “The cooperation in this area will help optimise the storage, primary processing and distribution of food and facilitate access to markets for small, medium and large agricultural producers.”