22 Feb 2023 17:04

Buyer of IKEA assets in Novgorod launches production at former Ford site in Leningrad region

ST. PETERSBURG. Feb 22 (Interfax) - St. Petersburg-based Slotex JSC has launched production of furniture components at a former Ford factory site in Vsevolozhsk, Leningrad region, the same one where SV Rus, a subsidiary of South Korea's Sungwoo Hitech Co., had earlier planned to implement an automotive components production project, the Leningrad region's press service told Interfax.

SV Rus indefinitely postponed their project at the end of 2022 to produce components for Hyundai and Kia vehicles in Leningrad region. At the time, the production site had been rented by a wood processing company. The company's name was not disclosed.

"We can confirm that the Slotex Company is implementing a furniture board production investment project on a leased site in the Kirpichny Zavod industrial zone. As part of this project, the first stage is the production of furniture components. Stage two, the production of decorative paper-laminated plastics and furniture boards made from them, will be launched later this year," the press service said.

Ford opened its factory in Leningrad region in summer 2002, producing three Ford Focus models and a Mondeo sedan. In March 2019, the JV between the U.S. auto producer and Russian Sollers distributed an announcement on the restructuring of their Russian business and the shuttering of two production sites: one in Tatarstan, and the factory in Vsevolozhsk. Ford cars stopped production in Leningrad region in summer the same year.

In February 2022, SV Rus concluded a deal to purchase a production and warehousing complex in Leningrad region from Ford Motor Co. The company was planning to invest 6.8 billion rubles in the production of automobile components.

In February 2023, a government commission approved the sale of several Russian factories by Swedish IKEA to Slotex and Luzales LLC. Slotex plans to purchase IKEA's assets in Novgorod region while Luzales is interested in IKEA factories in Leningrad and Kirov regions, a source inside the Novgorod region government told Interfax.

Slotex had been ready to consider buying IKEA furniture factories if the foreign company decided to sell its assets in Russia, company President Svetlana Osipova said earlier. "Generally speaking, we are in this industry because IKEA is our client. We supplied IKEA with our materials. (. . .) We may consider this option and expand production," Osipova told reporters in 2022 on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg 2022 International Economic Forum.

Slotex has been active on the market since 1990, and develops and produces decorative plastic, furniture components and interior decorating materials.