German DIY retail chain OBI says it has definitely left Russia

FILE PHOTO: The logo of the German home-improvement chain OBI is seen at a closed store in Moscow, Russia April 11, 2022. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German home improvement retailer OBI’s shops in Russia are and will remain permanently closed as a result of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, the company said on Wednesday in response to media reports.

The company added it had transferred its legal entities on the condition that the OBI brand would not be used in Russia anymore.

On April 11, the Russian business newspaper Vedomosti reported that Russian and German managers of OBI were at odds over reopening stores in Russia after the company said in March it would permanently stop operating in the country.

“We again point out and clarify that the OBI Group is and will be neither directly nor indirectly engaged in Russia post-transaction,” the company said in a statement.

“Different information can only be propaganda and external actions from Russia, on which we as OBI Group unfortunately have no influence,” the company said.

OBI operates in 10 Central and Eastern European countries with over 640 stores, including more than 350 in Germany.

Reporting by Zuzanna Szymanska, Editing by Miranda Murray and Louise Heavens