The executive director of the tobacco company, Jacek Olczak, stated that Philip Morris had talks with at least three serious potential buyers but that the negotiations were stopped because he did not know how to do it, pointing to the regulations for foreign companies when selling Russian assets, reports the Financial Times. This mainly relates to the company’s valuation and access to cash flows.
Olchak stated that he has an obligation to the shareholders and cannot suddenly lose his patience and leave his job in Russia. The company’s CEO stated that it’s their money, not his. If he had a customer who could do the transaction, they would do it, but the customer doesn’t exist. There is no hope. That’s why he’d rather keep this thing.
Less than 9% left Russia
Despite the large number of multinational companies that promised to leave Russia after it invaded Ukraine, many are still operating in that country one year after the war began. According to research by the International Institute for Management Development, smaller than nine percent of companies from EU and G7 countries escaped Russia by the end of last year.
Imperial Brands, the maker of Davidoff cigarettes, sold its Russian operations to a local partner shortly after the invasion, with annual profits of $463 million. At the same time, Japan Tobacco does not intend to leave, while British American Tobacco is trying to find a buyer for its business in Russia.