OREANDA-NEWS  Capacities for the production of up to 16 thousand tons of tea per year can be bought by the United Tea Company, among whose co-owners are the CEO of Luzhnikov and the former top manager of AVTOVAZ, Alexander Pronin. The deal will allow the investor to expand the production of tea under the brands of retail chains.

The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) has received a petition from United Tea Company LLC for preliminary consent to purchase Ekaterra's production facilities and intangible assets in Russia. The notification is published in the FAS database.

Ekaterra is the largest tea producer in the world, the brand portfolio includes Lipton, PG Tips, Pukka, T2 and Tazo. The company was previously part of the Unilever group, which in 2021 sold the business to CVC Capital Partners for €4.5 billion. In Russia, Ekaterra produced tea under the Lipton, Saito and Brooke Bond brands at a factory in St. Petersburg. According to the city administration, in 2019 the capacity of the factory was up to 16 thousand tons of products per year. In August 2022, Ekaterra announced its withdrawal from the Russian market and the cessation of production in the country.

United Tea Company LLC produces Eastford, Berryford, Kama Sutra, Green Standard tea, and is also engaged in packaging products under contract, including under its own brands (STM) of chains. According to the Unified State Register of Legal Entities, 50% of the company belongs to Alexander Konov, director of the Pyotr Konchalovsky Foundation, created by directors Nikita Mikhalkov and Andrei Konchalovsky. Alexander and Larisa Pronin have another 25% each. Mr. Pronin is the general director of the Luzhniki sports complex, and previously was the first vice president of AVTOVAZ and was mentioned in the media as an adviser to the head of Rostec Sergey Chemezov.