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Putin clears sale of Caterpillar's Russian assets to ex-Sberbank executives

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) summit in Minsk

MOSCOW (Reuters) -President Vladimir Putin has approved the purchase of the Russian assets of U.S. machinery maker Caterpillar by Russia's PSK-New Solutions, owned by ex-Sberbank executives, according to a decree published on Monday and a corporate database.

The decree did not disclose the value of Caterpillar's Russian business. The company, which makes machinery for the construction, mining and oil and gas industries, did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Caterpillar Inc suspended operations in its manufacturing facilities in Russia last year, joining a number of foreign companies that halted business in the country after Moscow sent its troops into Ukraine in February 2022.

According to the decree, PSK-New Solutions is allowed to buy 100% of the charter capital in Caterpillar Tosno and Caterpillar Financial as a response to Western sanctions.

According to Interfax news agency's Spark database, PSK - New Solutions was registered in August 2022. It is 99% owned by Kirill Polishkin, while 1% belongs to Jan Veitsman, both former employees of Sberbank CIB, the corporate and investment banking business of Russia's largest lender, Sberbank.

Polishkin did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Under Russian law, Putin's approval is needed for the sale of stakes in Russian finance or energy ventures.

He has cleared the sale of Russian assets by a number of Western companies that quit Russia as a result of the conflict in Ukraine.

Several Western companies sold their Russian operations for token sums, with some adding buy-back clauses to facilitate a possible return in the future.

(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin, Alexander Marrow and Gleb Stolyarov; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Mark Trevelyan)