Mercedes-Benz sells stake in Russian truckmaker Kamaz

FRANKFURT (Reuters) -Mercedes-Benz Group has sold its stake in Russia’s largest truckmaker, Kamaz, becoming the latest Western company to complete its withdrawal from Russia following the country’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine.

The German carmaker, which did not disclose the price of the transaction or the buyer, said the deal was completed this month after securing all necessary regulatory approvals.

Mercedes-Benz AG, which at the time was Daimler AG, took over a 15% stake in Kamaz from Daimler Truck in September 2021 with a view to returning it to Daimler Truck after the truckmaker was spun off from the carmaker in December 2021.

After the spin-off, Daimler AG was renamed Mercedes-Benz AG.

The Kamaz stake ended up being split between Mercedes and Daimler Truck after the spin-off, with Mercedes holding the stake, but Daimler Truck having to write off the asset, which it estimated at roughly 200 million euros ($215 million) in a May 2022 filing.

The sale marks Mercedes-Benz’s conclusive exit from the Russian market. The company announced its withdrawal in late 2022, selling shares in its industrial and financial services subsidiaries to a local investor.

Kamaz CEO Sergei Kogogin said Daimler Truck’s 15% stake had been sold, in an interview with the Vedomosti daily, published on Thursday.

Daimler Truck froze its business activities in Russia, including its cooperation with Kamaz, in late February 2022, after Russia invaded Ukraine.

Scores of Western companies have abandoned the Russian market after what Russia calls a “special military operation” in Ukraine. Many carmakers sold their factories for a nominal fee.

Kamaz is under U.S. and EU sanctions.

($1 = 0.9316 euros)

(Reporting by Alexander Marrow in London and Ilona Wissenbach in FrankfurtEditing by Jason Neely and Mark Potter)