The owner of the clothing brands Zara, Pull & Bear, Bershka and Stradivarius - the Spanish Inditex - said that it had agreed to sell its business in Russia to the Daher group. This is a Lebanese franchisee of the company.
The Spanish company said in a press release that the deal meant the end of its operations in Russia. Sales in the country stopped on March 5 amid the war in Ukraine. Inditex stores in Russia will display brands owned by the buying company that are not associated with Inditex. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“Inditex has reached an initial agreement to sell its business in Russia to the Daher group. The terms of the deal, which is subject to government approval, will preserve the large number of jobs created by the Inditex Group in Russia, as it includes the transfer of most of the store-related leases.
At the same time, the company notes that "if in the future Inditex considers that new circumstances allow the group's brands to return to the Russian market, then Inditex and the Daher group will potentially be able to cooperate on the basis of a franchise agreement."
According to Bloomberg, the Daher group is based in the UAE, it is associated with the Lebanese Azadea. Azadea manages the franchises of the Spanish company Inditex in the Middle East.
Earlier, Forbes, citing sources, said that Zara, Bershka, Pull & Bear and Stradivarius will work again in Russia under new names. Inditex is also the owner of the brands Massimo Dutti, Oysho and Zara Home, but they, according to the publication, will completely leave the Russian market. Izvestia wrote that Zara stores will be renamed New Fashion. The interlocutor of Forbes stated that "someone came up with this, this option was not considered."
Inditex closed more than 500 of its stores after Russia started the war in Ukraine. Online sales have also been halted.