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German dairy firm, Pepsi building yogurt plant

Wave LLC, the company that plans to build a $206 million yogurt production facility in the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park, is a partnership between PepsiCo and Theo Muller, a German-owned dairy business.

The Genesee County Economic Development Center has been wooing the company for years but until now it was not known who was behind the venture.

Wave will employ nearly 200 people in a 360,000-square-foot plant that will take up nearly half of the business park's 200 acres.

Muller is said to be Germany's largest privately owned dairy business.

In a curious twist, Pepsi will be returning to the community where it ran a local family-owned bottling plant for more than 70 years. It was sold several years ago.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced the principals in the deal Friday evening. The state is kicking in $13 million in tax breaks, and Genesee County is adding $12 million in incentives.

The shovel-ready site, on Route 5 near the city's eastern border, is being prepared for the start of construction in the spring. An opening in 2014 is expected.

Wave will join Alpina Foods, a smaller yogurt production plant, which is now under construction and expected to open in May. It is the first U.S. operation for the Bogota, Colombia-based company.

The Genesee County Economic Development Center said selling points for attracting both companies are access to extensive dairy farming in Genesee and Wyoming counties. O-AT-KA Milk Products, a cooperative, is a neighbor in the new park.