Which companies are leaving Russia and which are staying? Here’s a look
FRANKFURT, Germany — More than 500 companies suspended their activities in Russia, and a similar number withdrew completely.
According to the Yale University database, another 151 are “retracting”, 175 are “buying time” and 230 are “climbing out”. Chinese companies occupy a prominent place in the last category.
Here are some Western companies that have decided to stay or leave Russia:
– Volkswagen on Friday reached an agreement to sell its Russian business, including its 4,000-employee plant in the western city of Kaluga, to an entity backed by Russian dealer Avilon.
The conclusion of the agreement was delayed for months by the lawsuit of the Russian car manufacturer GAZ. It produced cars under contract for VW until the partnership ended in May 2022 in what the German company called a mutual agreement.
Although VW has wound up its Russia business, it still has to deal with lawsuits.
— KFC owner Yum! The brands withdrew from Russia in March 2022, and some restaurants changed to Rostic’s, a former post-Soviet brand.
“Workers are welcome, just like before,” said teacher Timofey Soznovsky, 33, at a newly opened Moscow location, where people dug into familiar buckets of red-and-white-striped chicken and boxes of nuggets. “I didn’t really feel the difference between KFC and Rostic.”
– Austrian forestry products company Mondi is still awaiting approval after reaching an agreement in August to sell its assets, including a large mill in the northern city of Syktyvkar, for 95 billion rubles ($1.5 billion) to billionaire Viktor Kharitonin’s Augment Investments Group.
It still hasn’t received approval after Gotek Group agreed in December to buy three smaller Mondi packaging plants.
— Another forest products company, Stora Enso, has handed over its packaging plants to local management, but is still awaiting approval to select two smaller Russian logging companies.
— Italian power company Enel has agreed to sell part of its power plant stake to Russian oil company Lukoil, which has been under US sanctions since 2014, when Russia seized Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula.
– Burger King, owned by Restaurant Brands International, and Carl’s Jr., owned by CKE Restaurents, are still open in Moscow. Neither company responded to emailed questions.
Last year, RBI International chairman David Shear said in a letter to employees that the franchise agreements would make it impossible to force the local operator to shut down as the company tries to sell its 15% stake in the Russia joint venture. Among its partners was the investment department of the state-owned VTB Bank.
“There are no legal clauses that would allow us to unilaterally change the contract,” he said. “Therefore, it is possible that other brands with a similar structure will continue to operate on the market in Russia.”
Any proceeds will be donated to the UN Refugee Agency.
— The products of the Italian beverage company Campari Group, which produces the popular Aperol liqueur, are still available in Russia.
The company announced it would stop advertising and scale back business enough to pay its 118 workers in Russia. He did not respond to an emailed request for comment.
– Quincy, Illinois-based farm tractor tire maker Titan International has retained a majority stake in its plant in the southwestern city of Volgograd.
The Russia plant “serves critical needs in the global supply chain for food and agriculture,” CEO Paul Reitz said in a conference call with analysts. “We will continue to operate and comply with all sanctions in place” and “no cash in, no cash out.”
The company does not supply the Russian government or military, he said.
– Turkey’s Anadolu Efes has launched new products in Russia, including an energy drink and a non-alcoholic beer, according to its first quarter earnings report.