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British American Tobacco completes exit from Russia


British American Tobacco finalized its exit from Russia about 18 months after pledging to do so following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

The multinational cigarette maker said in a statement on Thursday that it agreed “to sell its Russian and Belarusian businesses in accordance with local and international laws.”

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but the transaction is expected to close within a month, the company said.

“Once finalized, BAT will no longer have a presence in Russia or Belarus and will not derive any financial gain from ongoing sales in these markets,” the statement added.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in early 2022, thousands of companies like Apple, McDonald’s and Coca-Cola have withdrawn from Russia. However, other global tobacco giants are still doing business in the country, including Japan Tobacco International and Philip Morris International.

BAT, based in London, is a key player in the global tobacco market with commercial activities in more than 100 countries. BAT’s main brands include Camel and Newport.

It controlled nearly 25% of the Russian tobacco market, which is the fourth largest in the world, according to Reuters.

The acquirer is a consortium led by members of BAT Russia’s management team, which will own 100% of the Russian and Belarusian businesses, BAT said. They will then be known as the ITMS Group.

BAT said the workers’ employment conditions in Russia would remain comparable to their current conditions for at least two years after the agreement is reached.