After Russian troops invaded Ukraine in February 2022, many Western companies announced that they would leave the Russian market. "Important Stories" calculated that in reality, by April 2023, only 20% of companies from countries declared "unfriendly" by the Russian authorities had left Russia.
During the period under review, the number of legal entities registered in Russia with owners from the US, EU, UK and other "unfriendly" countries decreased by more than 2,600. They have changed owners or have been liquidated or are in the process of liquidation. Among the largest Russian companies in terms of revenue that parted ways with foreign owners are automobile plants owned by the Mercedes-Benz Group, Renault and Nissan, as well as a network of gas stations owned by Shell.
Some, leaving, reserved the right to buy Russian assets, for example, Renault and Danone, McDonald's and Ford. There are small companies that “imitated” the exit by simply changing the owners of Russian branches to legal entities from Turkey, Kazakhstan, China and the United Arab Emirates.
The Russian authorities create significant difficulties for foreign companies that want to leave the country. To sell their Russian assets, foreign legal entities need to obtain the approval of the Ministry of Finance commission on foreign investment. At the same time, the commission is working so slowly that by the end of March this year, more than 2,000 applications had accumulated pending consideration.
Also in March, the Ministry of Finance announced that from now on, companies from "unfriendly" countries, when selling Russian business, will have to pay a "voluntary contribution" to the budget - 10% of half of the market value of the sold assets. If the assets are sold at a discount of more than 90%, the "fee" will be 10% of the full price.