Tobacco group Philip Morris admits it may never sell its Russian business

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Company signals ‘no hope’ of a deal because of Kremlin terms on foreign companies’ asset sales

Chief executive Jacek Olczak told the Financial Times the tobacco group, which sells Marlboro cigarettes outside the US, had been in discussions with at least three “serious” potential buyers but “the talks have stalled because nobody knows how I can make it work”.

Many western companies vowed to exit Russia immediately after last year’s invasion of Ukraine, but less than 9 per cent of EU and G7 groups in the country had left by the end of December, according to research by the International Institute for Management Development, a business school.

Rae Maile, an analyst at Panmure Gordon, said PMI’s exit from Russia had dragged on since it was a “bloody complicated process” and the group was trying to “eke out as much value as possible for shareholders”.

Additional reporting by Tom Wilson, Owen Walker and Peter Campbell

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Author: Oliver Barnes, Financial Times

Rae Maile

Managing Director, Research Analyst, Financials & Tobacco

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