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Companies sell their businesses in Russia

A sticker with the logo of German tyre company Continental is pictured on tyres in Bourbriac, France, February 18, 2022. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo
A sticker with the logo of German tyre company Continental is pictured on tyres in Bourbriac, France, February 18, 2022. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo

Some Western companies have sold their Russian assets or handed them over to local managers to comply with sanctions over the war in Ukraine and respond to threats from the Kremlin that it may seize foreign-owned assets.

The moves, part of a broader corporate exodus from Russia, have prompted concerns that Russian companies and institutions are snapping up prize assets at bargain prices.

Below are some of the companies by sector that have sold their businesses in Russia:

AUTOS

CONTINENTAL (CONG.DE)

The car parts manufacturer sold its Russian tyre plant to Russian holding company S8 Capital in May 2023.

RENAULT (RENA.PA)

The French carmaker sold its majority stake in Avtovaz (AVAZI_p.MM) to the Russian state in 2022, reportedly for only one rouble but with a six-year option to buy it back.

VOLKSWAGEN (VOWG_p.DE)

The German carmaker completed the sale of its Kaluga production plant and local subsidiaries in May 2023.

BANKS & INSURERS

SOCIETE GENERALE (SOGN.PA)

The French bank sold its Rosbank business to Russia’s Interros Capital in May 2022, taking a 3.1 billion euro ($3.38 billion) hit.

ENERGY

SHELL (SHEL.L)

The British energy and petrochemical company in 2022 sold its Russian retail and lubricants business to Russia’s Lukoil (LKOH.MM).

FOOD & BEVERAGES

AB INBEV (ABI.BR)

The Belgian brewer agreed to sell its stake in joint venture AB InBev Efes in April 2022, taking a $1.1 billion impairment.

HEINEKEN (HEIN.AS)

The Dutch brewer said on Aug. 25, 2023 it had exited Russia after selling its operations there to Russia’s Arnest Group for a symbolic one euro.

FORESTRY & PACKAGING

International Paper (IP.N) sold its 50 per cent stake in a joint venture to Russian shareholders in September 2023. Britain’s Mondi sold three packaging converting operations to Gotek Group for 1.6 billion roubles and agreed to sell its largest plant in Russia to Sezar Invest for 80 billion roubles.

Finnish packaging maker Huhtamaki (HUH1V.HE) sold its Russian operations for 151 million euros and forestry firm Stora Enso (STERV.HE) exited the country with the sale of three corrugated packaging plants to local management last year.

RESTAURANTS & RETAIL

AMREST (EATP.WA)

The restaurant operator in May 2023 closed the sale of its KFC business in Russia to Smart Service for 100 million euros.
IKEA

Gazprombank Group bought 14 MEGA shopping centres in Russia from a unit of IKEA operator Ingka Group for an undisclosed price, the companies said on Sept. 28, 2023.

INDITEX (ITX.MC)

Moscow approved the sale of the Spanish fashion retailer’s Russian business to a UAE-based buyer in April 2023. The Zara owner had agreed to sell its more than 500 stores in October 2022.

LPP (LPPP.WA)

The fashion group sold its Russian business in June 2022 to a Chinese consortium and a former CEO of Russian company Re Trading. The price for the stores was set at $135.5 million paid over four years until 2026, and at 1.2 billion zlotys ($303 million) for the inventory. LPP recorded a 600-million zloty loss on the sale, it said on March 18.

MCDONALD’S (MCD.N)

The US-based restaurant chain sold its business in Russia in 2022, taking a charge of $1.28 billion.
TOBACCO

BRITISH AMERICAN TOBACCO (BATS.L)

The maker of Camel and Lucky Strike cigarettes said on Sept. 7, 2023 it would sell its Russian and Belarusian businesses for an undisclosed sum to a consortium led by members of its local management team.

IMPERIAL BRANDS (IMB.L)

The British tobacco group transferred its Russian business to investors based in Russia in April 2022.
OTHER

EMBRACER (EMBRACb.ST)

The Swedish gaming company has agreed to divest selected assets from its subsidiary Saber Interactive for $247 million, thereby ceasing all operations in Russia, it said on March 14.

FORACO INTERNATIONAL (FAR.TO)

The French mineral driller said on March 18 that it has exited Russia with the sale of its shareholding in EDC Russia, adding the deal resulted in a marginal net profit for the company.

POLYMETAL INTERNATIONAL (POLY.MM)

Precious metals producer Polymetal said on March 11 it had completed the sale of its Russian business to a Siberian gold miner in a $3.69 billion deal including the business’ $2.21 billion in net debt.

VEON (VON.AS)

Amsterdam-listed mobile telecoms operator Veon said on Oct. 9, 2023 it had completed its exit from Russia as it closed the sale of its Russian business, Vimpelcom, to senior members of the Vimpelcom management team, led by CEO Aleksander Torbakhov.

WIENERBERGER (WBSV.VI)

The Austrian brickmaker has exited the Russian market, selling its factories in the Vladimir and Tatarstan regions, business daily RBC reported on March 28, citing the company and Russian corporate filings.

XEROX HOLDINGS (XRX.O)

Printer maker Xerox Holdings said on Oct. 11, 2023 it had sold its operations in Russia to local management for an undisclosed sum.

YANDEX NV (YNDX.O)

Shareholders of Yandex NV, a Dutch-registered firm which operates an internet search engine, on March 7 approved the sale of its Russian assets to a management-led consortium of Russian investors for 475 billion roubles marking the biggest corporate exit from the country since Moscow invaded Ukraine two years ago.

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