British American Tobacco (BAT) has agreed to sell its Russian and Belarusian businesses, 18 months after announcing its plans to exit those markets.
Boss Jack Bowles has previously said the sale has been delayed due to sanctions in the UK, EU and US as well as the regulatory environment in Russia.
The businesses will be sold to members of British American Tobacco Russia’s management team, which will wholly own both businesses. Post completion the businesses will be known as ITMS Group.
BAT said that throughout the sale process, the interests of employees in Russia and Belarus has been “one of our key priorities. Their terms of employment will remain comparable to their current terms for at two years.
Around 2,500 people are employed in Russia, where the firm has 75 regional offices and a manufacturing facility.
The deal will complete within the next month. Upon completion BAT confirmed it will have no presence in Russia or Belarus and will receive no financial gain from sales in those markets.
At the end of June, Russia and Belarus accounted for around 2.7 per cent of BAT’s revenue and 2.5 per cent of its adjusted profit.
Although most FTSE 100 firms no longer do business in Russia following the invasion of Ukraine, a handful still do.