Anglo-Dutch consumer goods group Unilever announced that it had signed an agreement to acquire Bulgarian ice cream maker Darko.
The deal, arranged between the company's current owner Balkan Accession Fund (BAF) and Unilever's South Central Europe division, also stipulates the purchase of Darko's production unit and distribution network. The value of the deal was not disclosed.
Darko is the second-largest ice cream company in Bulgaria after food giant Nestle. It sells its products under the Eskimo, Casablanca, Weekend, Magic Ice, Free, Belinda, Alaska and Milka brands.
"Darko is a valuable asset for us as it has well-known brands and leading positions on the market," Unilever's regional manager Marc Desenfants said.
As part of the agreement, nearly 80 of Darko's employees will be transferred to Unilever. Darko will keep its existing production facilities and warehouse staff and continue to produce ice-cream for the Bulgarian market.
The deal is now subject to approval by the Commission on Protection of Competition.
Darko generated a turnover of seven million euro in 2010.