Status: 29.11.2023, 14:57 PM
By: Patrick Freiwah
Automotive supplier Schaeffler has received the "green light" from the Kremlin for the sale of its Russian plant (symbolic image). © IMAGO/Arnulf Hettrich
Automotive supplier Schaeffler announces completion: The Franconian company can sell its plant in Russia after Kremlin boss Vladimir Putin has given the "green light".
Moscow/Munich - In the spring of 2023, industrial giant Schaeffler announced its intention to sell its Russian plant. The Franconian automotive supplier is now allowed to sell its Russian plant to a holding company owned by Austrian supervisory board member Siegfried Wolf. In a published statement, Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin personally approved the acquisition of the site in Ulyanovsk on the Volga by PromAvtoConsult, which is backed by the 66-year-old manager.
Schaeffler sells Russian plant "in accordance with U.S. and EU sanctions law"
Schaeffler, which is headquartered in Herzogenaurach, had informed about its sales plans for production in Russia about a year after the start of the Ukraine war. At that time, however, the approval of the Moscow Kremlin was still pending. The purchase price was stated in Schaeffler's annual report at ten million euros.
It is a comparatively small Schaeffler plant in the southwest of the world's largest country in terms of area, with only 150 employees. In response to an inquiry, investor Wolf told Der Spiegel before the closing that the transaction had been comprehensively reviewed with regard to the sanctions against Russia. The result is that the acquisition is "in accordance with applicable US and EU sanctions law".
Currently, the supplier from Franconia is in the headlines due to another acquisition:
Austrian top manager takes over Schaeffler's Russian plant
Siegfried Wolf is no stranger to the German industrial landscape: Born in Styria, he was previously CEO of the Canadian-Austrian automotive supplier Magna International. Today, according to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the 66-year-old sits on several supervisory boards of the local automotive industry, including Porsche SE as well as the suppliers Schaeffler and Vitesco, which is about to be taken over (see video).
According to Industriemagazin.at, hardly any other business boss in the German-speaking world is said to have such good contacts with Russia and the Kremlin. From 2010 to 2019, Wolf was also Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Russian GAZ Group, and since 2021 he has been the owner of Steyr Automotive. (PF with material from dpa)