Fast-food restaurant chain exits Russian market due to war in Ukraine, 32 years after settling in the country
Fast food company joined other companies ending their services in Russia
THE McDonalds announced this Thursday, 19, that it has reached an agreement with businessman Alexander Govor so that he buys the establishments of the fast-food restaurant chain in Russia. Govor, who already owns 25 McDonald’s franchises in Siberia, will take over all 850 in the country. The network announced its exit from the Russian market on Monday, the 16th, due to the invasion of Ukraine, the humanitarian crisis and the economic sanctions that followed. Govor agreed to keep all 62,000 employees at the restaurant for at least two years. on equivalent terms and pay wages until the sale closes. The transaction amount was not reported. “Business in Russia is no longer sustainable or consistent with McDonald’s values,” the company said in a statement. The sale agreement is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close within a few weeks.
McDonald’s was one of the first fast-food chains to enter the Russian market in 1990, after the Cold War. The store near Pushkin Square in Moscow was a symbol of the dismantling of the Soviet Union, completed the following year, and the transition from communist to capitalist economy. But, after the invasion, the brand had already announced the suspension of its business in Russia in March, although keeping the jobs – a decision that cost about US$ 55 million a month. The withdrawal, in turn, will cost between US$ 1.2 billion and US$ 1.4 billion. McDonald’s, however, left open the possibility of one day returning to Russia. “It is impossible to predict what the future holds, but I choose to end my message in the same spirit that brought McDonalds to Russia: hope,” CEO Chris Kempczinski wrote Monday in a letter to employees. “So we won’t end up saying ‘goodbye’. Instead, let’s say it like they say in Russian: until we meet again.”
*With information from AFP