Russian Company Set to Acquire German Chemical Subsidiary

( – Multiple companies responded to the Ukraine invasion by blacklisting Russia in 2022. BASF Vostok, a subsidiary of the German-based firm BASF, was one of those companies. The Russian government is now acquiring the chemical company.

Russia Today, a state media organization, reported that President Vladimir Putin authorized Lakra Sintez to acquire BASF Vostok. The domestic manufacturer of varnishes and paints was permitted to buy 100% of BASF Vostok’s shares. The authority to do so was granted under a 2022 decree by Putin that introduced special measures responding to “unfriendly actions of some foreign states and international organizations.”

In April 2022, BASF condemned the invasion of Ukraine and announced it was shutting down operations in Russia and Belarus. In July of that year, the company reported it had officially wound down its activities. The only business that remained open was one that supported food production to help increase poor people’s accessibility. In 2023, BASF announced a $7.9 billion write-down because Wintershall Dea, its oil and gas subsidiary, was leaving Russia.

It’s not clear what exactly Russia has allowed Lakra Sintez to acquire since the company ceased to operate in the Eastern European nation almost two years ago. BASF is the biggest chemical company in the world, and it has more than 230 facilities. It employs 112,000 people across the world. Lakra Sintez is Russia’s largest paintwork material.

The decision by Russia to allow the acquisition came after similar actions by Germany. In 2022, the German government took over Gazprom Germania, a subsidiary of the Russian state-owned PJSC Gazprom. They also seized Gazprom’s 48% stake in Europol GAZ, last November.

After the conflict in Ukraine began, more than 1,000 companies made changes to their operations in Russia or pulled out completely. Many of those countries were American, including Alaska Airlines, Airbnb, Caterpillar, DuPont, and others. Yale University keeps a running list of companies that have suspended or curtailed operations.

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