(Reuters) – French blue chip Schneider Electric will sell its operations in Russia and Belarus to the local management, the electrical equipment maker said on Wednesday as it signed a letter of intent with the designated buyers.
“That’s the vast majority of what we have over there,” the company’s finance chief told journalists in a call, adding that only a few unconsolidated assets would not be part of the deal.
As a result, the company said it would write off of up to 300 million euros ($319 million) of net book value and make a non-cash reversal of the currency translation estimated at 120 million euros.
The group employed 3,500 people in Russia and Belarus, while revenue generated by the Schneider Electric Russia operations accounted for 2% of sales, it said.
Separately, Russia’s Interfax news agency late on Tuesday reported that French carmaker Renault would transfer its 68% stake in Russia’s biggest national carmaker Avtovaz to a Russian science institute.
Asked if Schneider could imagine returning to Russia in the future, CFO Hilary Maxson said she “certainly would not rule this out”, but added that at this stage, the priority was to make an orderly exit.
(Reporting by Piotr Lipinski in Gdansk; editing by Tassilo Hummel and Stephen Coates)
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