Business Standard

Companies sell their businesses in Russia, complying to sanctions amid war

The moves, part of a broader corporate exodus from the country, are likely to stir concerns that Russian firms and institutions are snapping up prized assets for a bargain

Russia

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Reuters
(Reuters) -Some Western companies have agreed to sell their Russian assets or hand them over to local managers as they scramble to comply with sanctions over the Ukraine conflict and deal with threats from the Kremlin that foreign-owned assets may be seized.
The moves, part of a broader corporate exodus from the country, are likely to stir concerns that Russian firms and institutions are snapping up prized assets for a bargain.
Below is a list of firms by sector that have secured deals to sell their businesses in Russia:
AUTOMAKERS
INCHCAPE
The British car distributor said it had agreed to sell its Russian business to local management. The sale will result in an exceptional non-cash loss before tax of about 240 million pounds ($294 million).
RENAULT The French carmaker said on May 16 it will sell its majority stake in Russia's biggest carmaker, Avtovaz, to the Russian Central Research and Development Automobile and Engine Institute (Nami), with a six-year option to buy back the stake.
Renault also said that 100% of the shares in Renault Russia will go to the city of Moscow.
Russia had said on April 27 that Renault would transfer its 67.69% stake in Avtovaz to the institute for the symbolic sum of one rouble.
BANKS
SOCIETE GENERALE The French lender expects to close the sale of its Rosbank unit to Russia's Interros Capital "in the coming weeks," it said on May 5.
It announced the sale on April 11, adding it would write off 3.1 billion euros ($3.2 billion), comprising a 2 billion-euro hit on Rosbank's book value and the rest linked to the reversal of rouble conversion reserves.
ELECTRICAL COMPONENTS & EQUIPMENT
SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC
The French electrical equipment maker will sell its operations in Russia and Belarus to local management, the company said on April 27, as it signed a letter of intent with the designated buyers.
It will write off up to 300 million euros ($312 million) of net book value and make a non-cash reversal of currency translation estimated at 120 million euros.
ENERGY
BASF
The German chemicals giant unveiled a 7.3 billion euro ($7.9 billion) non-cash impairment on Wintershall Dea after the oil and gas exploration joint venture decided to exit Russia.
BASF owns 67% of the voting rights in Wintershall, with the rest being held by Letter One, a holding company controlled by Russian oligarch Mikhail Fridman.
SHELL
The British energy and petrochemical giant will sell its Russian retail and lubricants business to Russia's Lukoil, the companies said on May 12. The deal includes 411 retail stations and the Torzhok lubricants blending plant. Shell would not comment on the value of the deal.
FOOD & BEVERAGES
AB INBEV
The brewer said on April 22 it would sell its non-controlling stake in its Russian joint venture AB InBev Efes. The divestiture will result in a $1.1 billion impairment charge in the first quarter. The joint venture has 11 breweries in Russia and three in Ukraine.
FAZER
Finnish bakery and food service company said on April 29 it had agreed to sell its Russian unit to Moscow's Kolomenskij Bakery and Confectionery Holding. Fazer did not disclose the value of the transaction.
PAULIG
The privately owned Finnish food and drink company said on May 5 it had sold its operations in Russia to private Indian investor Vikas Soi, after being mentioned by Russian authorities as an example of a foreign company that could be nationalised.
It said the divesture includes the Paulig Rus LLC unit and Paulig's operations, as well as its coffee roastery in Tver, but not the Paulig brand, which will be phased out in Russia over the coming months.
RAISIO
The Finnish food processing company said on April 29 it had agreed to sell its consumer business in Russia to Copacker Agro Ltd for about 1.5 million euros ($1.6 million). As a result of the sale, Raisio said it would recognise an estimated impairment loss of 2.9 million euros in its Q1 earnings before interest and taxes.
VALIO
The Finnish dairy producer has sold its Russian business to GK Velkom, the company said on April 26, following an earlier threat by Russian authorities to nationalise its business there. Valio said the transaction would take effect immediately but gave no financial value for it.
MINING
AMUR MINERALS CORP
The London-listed Russian mining company announced on May 9 it proposed to sell its main Kun-Manie project for $105 million and agreed to assign to buyer benefit of all loans owed by Kun-Manie to Amur in consideration for $30 million.
KINROSS
Kinross Gold Corp is selling its Russian assets to the Highland Gold Mining group of companies for a total of $680 million in cash, the Canadian gold miner said on April 5, nearly a month after suspending its operations in the country.
RESTAURANTS & RETAIL
MCDONALD'S CORP
The U.S.-based restaurant chain said on May 16 it would sell its business in Russia after more than 30 years of operating in the country. The company expects to record a mostly non-cash charge of about $1.2 billion to $1.4 billion.
OTHERS
AUTHENTIC BRANDS GROUP
The Russian business of Authentic Brands Group-owned Reebook has been taken over by Turkey's FLO retailing, Kommersant daily reported on May 16. Analysts Kommersant said the deal could be worth 1.5 billion roubles ($24.26 million).
BRUNEL INTERNATIONAL
The Dutch employment services company is in the process of selling activities in Russia to local management, it said on April 29, adding its net investment in the country at end-March was 14 million euros ($14.6 million).
FLUGGER GROUP
The Danish paint maker said on April 8 it had initiated the sale of its Russian and Belarusian companies, taking a 115 million Danish crowns ($16.1 million) write-down.
IMPERIAL BRANDS
The British tobacco group announced the transfer of its Russian business to investors based in Russia on April 20, following talks with an unidentified third party in March.
MAERSK
The Danish shipping company has found possible buyers for its 30.75% stake in Global Ports Investments, which operates ports in Russia, it said on May 4.
STORA ENSO
The Finnish forestry firm has completed its exit from Russia with the sale of three corrugated packaging plants to local management, it said on May 16.
At the end of April, Stora said it had agreed to sell its two sawmills and their forest operations in Russia to local management, causing it to record a 130 million euro ($136 million) loss.
YIT
The Finnish builder has signed an agreement with Etalon Group PLC for the sale of its operations in Russia for about 50 million euros ($52 million). As a result of the sale, YIT said it would book an impairment of about 150 million euros in its first quarter income statement.
($1 = 0.8172 pounds)
($1 = 0.9616 euros)
($1 = 7.1521 Danish crowns)
($1 = 61.8340 roubles)
(Compiled by Elena Vardon, Augustin Turpin, Enrico Sciacovelli, Ina Kreuz and Praveen Paramasivam; Editing by Mark Potter, Jan Harvey, Andrew Heavens and Sriraj Kalluvila)

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Jan 18 2023 | 9:40 AM IST

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