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British American Tobacco (BAT), one of the world's leading tobacco companies, said it would sell its Russian and Belarusian businesses to a consortium led by its Russian management team.
Following the transaction's completion next month, the consortium will own both businesses under the new name of the ITMS Group, according to the company's Sept. 7 statement.
"Upon completion, BAT will no longer have a presence in Russia or Belarus and will receive no financial gain from ongoing sales in these markets," reads the statement.
British American Tobacco announced its plans to sell the Russian business in March 2022, shortly after Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. As of late June 2023, Russia and Belarus accounted for around 2.7% of BAT's revenue, according to the company's press service.
The multinational cigarette producer with headquarters in London employs over 50,000 people in almost 200 countries. BAT's brands include Kent, Lucky Strike, Rothmans, Vuse, glo, and Velo.
On Aug. 25, Ukraine's National Corruption Prevention Agency added another two major tobacco companies — Japan Tobacco International and Philip Morris International — to the list of war sponsors.
According to the agency's website, the companies continue to do business in Russia and support its economy amid the all-out war against Ukraine.