Renault sells stake in Russia's Avtovaz

STORY: Renault’s drive to leave Russia has sped up with its sale of a majority stake in automaker Avtovaz.

The French company announced Monday (May 16) it would sell to a Russian science institute.

The Russian Central Research and Development Automobile and Energy Institute said it had all approvals needed for the buyout.

Renault holds a near-68% stake in Avtovaz and the deal gives the French carmaker a six-year buyback option.

Chief Executive Luca de Meo said it gave Renault a chance to return to the country in future, in ‘a different context’.

It is the Western carmaker most exposed to the Russian market, with around 45,000 employees in Russia.

Renault confirmed a non-cash writedown of almost $2.3 billion to reflect the possible costs of suspending operations in Russia.

Western companies have left the country en masse ever since Russia invaded Ukraine in February - which Moscow calls a ‘special military operation’.

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