Roca Group has ended up throwing in the towel in Russia. The Roca family medical device company will definitively leave Russia, one of its most promising world markets both from a production and commercial point of view. Last Thursday, Roca signed a letter of intent with several of its main directors in Russia to transfer all of the country's assets to them for a symbolic price. Which are not exactly few.
Roca had been in Russia for 30 years, where he entered shortly after the process of opening up and economic development derived from perestroika, in the late eighties and early nineties of the last century. He seemed, and ended up being like that for a long time, a good opportunity. Over the years, and based on continuous and growing investment, the Catalan conglomerate came to have seven factories in the towns of Tosno, Cheboksari, Kaluga and Davidovo, where nearly 2,800 people work dedicated to producing sanitary porcelain, furniture and composites.
Everything changed at the beginning of this year. With the Russian aggression against Ukraine that began last February and the establishment of sanctions by the European Union and the United States on whoever had business dealings with Russia, Roca made the decision to temporarily suspend his activities in the country. At that time, the company showed its solidarity with the Ukrainian people, stopped production and sent everyone home, while maintaining the contracts and fulfilling its obligations to the workers.
But the war, which some expected to be very short, continues more than three months later. Roca had stopped producing and selling and only had costs and more costs, a disastrous present from an economic point of view and an uncertain future. Finally, the company has made the decision to leave Russia, taking all legal precautions and after verifying that it was the best alternative, given the circumstances.
To execute his exit, Roca has had to assume very relevant losses, which he prefers not to make public. Not only those related to these months, but those derived from the sale of his assets in the country to his local management team for a symbolic price, undoubtedly far from its book value.
The final closing of this agreement is subject to approval by the Russian authorities and the administrative procedures necessary for the operation. Some time ago, the multinational – which operates in 170 countries, has 84 factories and a total workforce of 84,000 employees – had already reorganized itself to serve the shipments that previously supplied the Russian plants from other production centers.
The company explains the departure from Russia solely and exclusively due to the aggression of the Vladimir Putin regime in Ukraine. "From the very beginning, Roca Group has expressed its solidarity with the Ukrainian people, who are suffering the consequences of the war," the company said yesterday. Roca, whose consolidated sales are close to 2,000 million euros, invoiced more than 100 million in Russia, according to market sources.