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Hugo Boss agrees to sell Russian business to wholesale partner Stockmann

Hugo Boss store logo is seen at a shopping centre at the outlet village Belaya Dacha outside Moscow

MOSCOW (Reuters) -Hugo Boss has agreed to sell its Russian business to wholesale partner Stockmann, the German fashion house said on Wednesday, a deal that will end its presence in Russia a little over two years after suspending operations there.

Hugo Boss, along with many store groups, suspended its retail business in Russia soon after Moscow despatched its army to Ukraine in February 2022. It also paused its e-commerce activities in the Russian market and stopped advertising.

Russia's government commission on foreign asset sales has approved the deal, Interfax reported, citing Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Viktor Yevtukhov, with one of the conditions being that all jobs are preserved.

Hugo Boss did not disclose financial terms of the deal. Russia demands that foreign companies sell assets at discounts of at least 50%.

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"As a result of the agreement, Hugo Boss will no longer be present in Russia with its own legal entity," Hugo Boss said in a statement.

The sale, which Hugo Boss said was still subject to approval by a national European authority, is expected to close in the third quarter of this year, Interfax reported.

Hugo Boss had come under pressure for continuing to supply some goods to Russia from organisations like B4Ukraine, a coalition of civil society groups, which seeks to compel Western companies to sever ties with Russia.

"In terms of our wholesale business, we were fulfilling the contractual obligations to our partners," Hugo Boss said. "In this context, Hugo Boss is and has been complying with existing EU sanctions at all times."

(Reporting by Reuters in Moscow, Alexander Marrow in London and Linda Pasquini in Gdansk;Editing by Tomasz Janowski and Mark Potter)