After criticism: Building materials manufacturer Knauf is withdrawing from Russia

After criticism: Building materials manufacturer Knauf is withdrawing from Russia

The family business has been operating in Russia for more than 30 years. Other German companies withdrew after the attack on Ukraine. Recently, Knauf has come under criticism again.

The building materials manufacturer Knauf wants to completely withdraw from the Russian market. The Franconian family group confirmed the planned exit in Iphofen: “In light of current developments, the Knauf Group has decided to separate from its business there in Russia after more than 30 years.”

It is “the company’s desire to transfer the entire business in Russia, including raw material extraction, production and sales, to local management in order to preserve the jobs of more than 4,000 employees in the future,” the company said. The planned transaction is subject to approval by the relevant authorities in Russia. The group did not give reasons for terminating its Russian business. “Business Insider” had previously reported on it.

The family group, which was one of the largest building materials manufacturers in the world with sales of around 15.4 billion euros in 2022, recently came under criticism again because of its business in Russia. A report by the ARD magazine “Monitor” had suggested that Knauf was helping to rebuild the Russian-occupied Ukrainian city of Mariupol and was not complying with sanctions. Reporters discovered the name Knauf on plaster bags in Mariupol. The company then emphasized that it would no longer deliver goods to Russia since February 2022 and would no longer export anything from Russia. Knauf also does not deliver any building materials to Mariupol from the EU.

14 production sites in Russia

The company operates a factory near Kiev and 14 production facilities with 4,000 employees in Russia. In a statement on the ARD report it was said that Knauf condemns the war of aggression against Ukraine and is following all sanctions of the EU, Great Britain and the USA against Russia. “We strongly reject the accusation of not doing so.”

The family company produces building materials, but is not involved in construction projects as a builder or investor. “Knauf does not have any direct delivery contracts with consumers or processors of Knauf products in Russia. Our products reach end customers there through many different dealers that are independent of Knauf. We have no influence on how and where end customers use our products.”

The company, which is entirely owned by the Knauf family, is represented in over 90 countries and, according to its own information, operates more than 300 plants with around 40,000 employees on all five continents.

Source: Stern

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