The French industrial gases group “Air Liquide” announced today that it wants to withdraw from Russia, where it employs approximately 720 people, and sell its operations in the country to local managers, France Press reported, quoted by BTA .
Air Liquide confirms its desire to withdraw from Russia. As part of a responsible and organized approach, the group signed a letter of intent with the local management team aiming torejected the activity in the form of MBO – MBO (Management Buy Out – purchase of a share of the company by its own management – note ed.)”, the communique states.
Air Liquide’s activities in Russia contribute to less than 1 percent of the company’s turnover, which in 2021 has reached 23 billion euros. They will no longer be reported in the group’s financial results from September 1.
Completion of the transaction is subject to approval by Russian authorities, and the amount of the sale was not disclosed.
“Air Liquide” already lost in the first half of the year an extraordinary provision related to its activities in the country worth 404 million euros.
“The project to transfer the activities of the local managers aims to carry out an organized and responsible transfer of the Group’s activities in Russia, ensuring above all that the supply of oxygen to the hospitals will continue”, specified “Air Liquide”.
The announcement of the withdrawal from Russia comes six months after the outbreak of war in Ukraine, which prompted many French companies to leave the country. This is the case with Societe Generale, which split in May with its Russian subsidiary Rosbank, as well as with Renault, which sold its shares in Avtovaz, the manufacturer of Lada cars. , retaining the option of redemption within six years.
Other companies such as luxury goods group Hermes and sports goods manufacturer Decathlon have also closed their operations in the country.
On the other hand, Leroy Merlin and Auchan, which, like Decathlon, are part of the Mulliez galaxy, continue their activities in the country for the time being, as well as the food group goods “Danone” (Danone) and the pharmaceutical giant “Sanofi” (Sanofi).
Oil and gas group TotalEnergies has also not left the country, believing it would make Russian investors rich, but last Friday (August 26) announced it was selling its stake to Russian company Terneftegaz, which was accused of producing fuel used by Russian warplanes engaged in the war in Ukraine.