17 Jun 2022 18:48

Russia regulator says has received no requests to buy IKEA assets

ST. PETERSBURG. June 17 (Interfax) - The Russian Federal Anti-monopoly Service has not yet received any requests for clearance to buy the Russian assets of Swedish furniture giant IKEA.

"We've not yet had any formal requests. If we get one we'll look at it, analyze it, who it is [wanting to buy]. There have been lots of conversations, one company is buying it, then another," Maxim Shakolsky, the regulator's chief, told reporters on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

"We have no companies with a dominating position, so there's sufficient competition in this market. I don't think there are any restrictions - we need to see who is asking, what sort of purchase it is, what they are buying, whether they'll be buying all the subsidiaries, the factories or just the retail outlets," he said.

The FAS will look at any request promptly. "It'll be done quite quickly, because work has to continue, jobs have to be safeguarded, and consumers should get the goods they have been used to," he said.

IKEA said on June 15 that it was scaling its business in Russia down, selling its four factories in the country, with retail remaining on hold. "The IKEA Retail business will remain stopped, and the workforce will be reduced, meaning that many co-workers will be affected. In order to support the scaling down process, Ingka Group plans to sell out its home furnishing inventory in Russia," it said.

"The Inter IKEA owned Industry business in Russia will reduce the workforce and start the process of finding new ownership for all four factories," it said.

IKEA paused operations in Russia on March 4.

IKEA currently has 14 stores in the Mega shopping centers in Russia and several IKEA City stores and several design studios. The compan has four factories in Russia: in Yesipovo in the Moscow region, Tikhvin in the Leningrad region, in Veliky Novgorod and in Krasnaya Polyana in the Kirov region.

Reports have said Tvoy Dom, Hoff and AFK Sistema are interested in IKEA's assets.