LONDON (Agencies): British multinational British American Tobacco (BAT) has successfully concluded an agreement to divest its operations in Russia and Belarus, as announced by the company on Thursday.

BAT revealed that the purchaser is a consortium led by members of BAT Russia’s management team, who will eventually assume full ownership of both entities. Following the completion of the deal, these businesses will be rebranded as the ITMS Group, according to the tobacco giant’s statement.

The transaction is being executed in full compliance with local and international legal requirements and is expected to be finalized within the next month, BAT stated.

British American Tobacco established its presence in the Russian market in 1991 and initiated local cigarette production in 1994. Its product portfolio encompasses renowned brands such as Dunhill, Kent, Vogue, Rothmans, Pall Mall, Lucky Strike, and Java.

In Russia, the company operates a manufacturing facility in St. Petersburg, multiple offices throughout the country, and an enterprise responsible for marketing and sales. Estimated investments in the Russian market by BAT amount to approximately $1 billion. In March 2022, BAT unveiled plans to continue selling its tobacco products in Russia while discontinuing further investments in local operations. At that time, the company held a share of just under 25% of the Russian tobacco market and employed approximately 2,500 individuals.

However, earlier this year, the tobacco industry leader announced its intention to exit the Russian market and transfer its assets to a local purchaser.

BAT’s decision aligns with a broader trend of international corporate giants leaving Russia in response to mounting international pressure and in compliance with Western sanctions related to the Ukraine conflict.

By Media

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