Helsinki / FI. (val) Finland’s Valio Group Limited has completed negotiations on the divestment of its Russian operations. Valio will sell the operations to Velkom Group. The transaction will take place immediately. With the transaction, Valio’s personnel in Russia will transfer to Velkom Group.
In early March Valio announced its plan to leave the Russian market immediately. With the completed transaction now, Valio’s operations in Russia have ended.
The transaction includes Valio’s Russian operations and the processed cheese factory in Ershovo. The «Viola» brand processed cheese sold and produced in Russia is also part of the transaction, i.e. the new owner has the option to continue producing and selling «Viola» processed cheeses in Russia.
The Valio brand will still be seen on store shelves in Russia until the packaging materials have been depleted and product expiration dates have been reached. The buyer must stop using the brands sold in Russia that are not included in the transaction by the end of the year within the framework of the transition period.
Product brand rights to the Valio «Viola» fresh cheeses sold in Finland and produced by Valio in Finland are not included in the transaction.
In 2020, Valio’s net sales in Russia were 87 million EUR and accounted for approximately 5 percent of Valio’s global net sales of about 1.8 billion EUR. Valio decided on 7 March 2022 to withdraw from operations in Russia. With this transaction, Valio is immediately withdrawing from all operations in Russia.
Valio exports products to some 60 countries around the world. The total value of Valio’s international operations and exports is about 750 million EUR annually, i.e. about 40 percent of Valio’s total net sales.
«Russia’s attack on Ukraine made it impossible to continue our operations in Russia, both ethically and from a business perspective. Exiting from Russia has proved difficult in this situation because of the constantly changing legislation and the reciprocal sanctions. We have sought out solutions and a suitable buyer throughout spring. With the transaction, we will complete this process and our operations in Russia will end,» says Valio CEO Annikka Hurme.
Of the interested buyers, the Russian food producer Velkom Group was selected as the most suitable.