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Norway's Elopak sells Russian operations to local management

·2-min read

(Reuters) -Norway's Elopak, a global supplier of carton packaging and filling equipment, said on Friday it had agreed to sell its Russian unit JSC Elopak to its local management.

It joins a long list of Western companies that have sold their Russian operations to local management following Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

The company said the buyer is Packaging Management and Investing LLC, which is beneficially owned by the management of JSC Elopak.

Elopak said it did not expect any material financial gains or losses in the second quarter related to the deal, but flagged a currency risk until the closing of the transaction, expected in third or fourth quarter, as the settlement would be paid in roubles.

Patrick Verhelst, Elopak's chief marketing officer, told Reuters he was unable to share any specifics on the purchase price or whether there was a clause in the agreement that enabled Elopak to buy back the unit after some time.

In May, Elopak had said it would try to find a buyer for its Russian plant after suspending activities in the region following what Russia calls a special operation in Ukraine.

Verhelst said Elopak had assessed "every possible option" before deciding to sell the unit to the local management, which he said was best placed to handle the future of its locations and employees.

Verhelst added he was unaware of the buyer's plans for JSC Elopak.

Operations in Ukraine and Russia had accounted for 9% of the group's revenue.

Equinor, whose main owner is the Norwegian state, exited its Russian joint venture in May and transferred its assets to long-term partner Rosneft.

Other Norwegian companies including Storebrand and Orkla have also announced plans to exit the region.

(Reporting by Marie Mannes; editing by Milla Nissi)

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