MOSCOW, March 19 (Reuters) - Russian retailer X5 Retail Group has agreed to sell its stores in Ukraine to local rival Varus for an estimated $5-10 million, Ukrainian newspaper Capital reported.
X5 is the first Russian company to pull out of the country since Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region that followed the overthrow of Moscow-backed President Viktor Yanukovich.
Making Crimea part of Russia after a disputed referendum in the Black Sea peninsula has caused the worst East-West crisis since the Cold War, and Kiev has threatened to nationalise Russian property.
Varus is buying the lease rights to 13 Perekryostok stores in and near Kiev, as well as in-store facilities and stock, Capital quoted Varus’s co-owner Ruslan Shostak as saying.
Shostak was not immediately available for comment. X5 declined to comment.
According to the company’s statements, its Ukraine business unit’s contribution to the financial results is negligible. According to the 2013 financial report, X5 has 12 stores in Ukraine out of total of 4,544 mostly across Russia. (Reporting by Maria Kiselyova and Olga Sichkar, editing by Elizabeth Piper)