(Bloomberg) -- Nestle SA, the world’s biggest food company, reached an agreement with an ice-cream maker owned by PAI Partners to set up a joint venture to run most of the Swiss company’s ice cream business outside North America.

The new company, called Froneri, will have annual sales of about 2.7 billion Swiss francs ($2.8 billion) and operate in more than 20 countries, Nestle and ice-cream maker R&R Ice Cream said in a statement Wednesday, without disclosing financial details. The new operation, to be based in the U.K., will have about 15,000 employees.

Nestle’s head of Europe, Middle East and North Africa, Luis Cantarell, will be chairman of Froneri chairman, while R&R’s Chief Executive Officer Ibrahim Najafi will be CEO. Nestle and PAI Partners will have equal stakes in the venture.

To contact the reporter on this story: Corinne Gretler in Zurich at To contact the editors responsible for this story: Matthew Boyle at, Thomas Mulier, Zoe Schneeweiss

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