Finnish holding Kesko will try again to escape from Russia

He is in talks with Leroy Merlin about selling a chain of stores for the house and repairing K-Raut. If the deal breaks, Kesko will not be able to leave the Russian market.
 Finnish Kesko announced its intention to sell most of the shops for home and repair in Russia by the French Leroy Merlin. In Russia, Kesko, according to her information, manages 14 DI-stores "K-Rauta" in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Tula, Kaluga and Yaroslavl. A representative of Leroy Merlin in Russia declined to comment.

Holding Kesko with revenues of 10.7 billion euros in 2017 unites enterprises for the production of food products, agricultural equipment, as well as networks for the sale of food, household goods and cars. In Russia, the company has been operating since the summer of 2005, when it bought Stroymaster stores in St. Petersburg. Subsequently, on their basis, a network of shops for the house and repair "K-Rauta" began to develop. In 2011, Kesko opened a network of food stores "K-ruoka" and sports goods "Intersport".

In the midst of the crisis that began in 2014, Kesko announced a possible suspension of business development in Russia. "Corruption, unpredictability of officials, unexpected changes in laws and the operational environment make it difficult to do business in Russia," the Finnish holding company reported in 2014. The company also noted a high level of uncertainty around the country's economy and significantly increased political and country risks. And in 2016 Kesko sold the first Intersport stores, and then the grocery business. Stores "K-ruoka" and several land plots in Moscow and the Leningrad region for 11 billion rubles. has acquired the "Lenta" network.

The seller of goods for home and repair "K-Rauta" remains the only business of the Finnish holding company in Russia. Kesko promises to report on the outcome of negotiations with Leroy Merlin. The latter is the largest DIY retailer in Russia, according to Infoline Analytics.

If it is not possible to agree, the Finnish company will continue to develop its business in Russia, Kesko said.