Air Products has today (21st March) said it will implement the safe and responsible divestiture of its business in Russia and will not pursue any new business development activities in the country.
Confirmation of the industrial gas giant’s position in the region follows publication of the Yale School of Management’s list, which detailed the position hundreds of businesses in Russia. At the time of release, the doccument suggested Air Products was “digging in and defying demands” for halting or reducing its activities in the country.
In the last few weeks, many firms have placed sanctions against Russia as a result of its invasion of Ukraine. As tensions continue to grow between the two Eastern European countries, pressure continues to mount on those companies who have not placed sanctions against the country.
Up until today, Air Products had remained tight-lipped on the matter. However, a statement shared on social media from Seifi Ghasemi, Chairman, President and CEO at Air Products, confirmed the company is now following suit and will further support those in need at this difficult time.
“Air Products operates a very small industrial gas business in Russia, which has less than $25m in sales, or approximately one quarter of one percent of our annual revenue. We are developing plans and will implement the safe and responsible divestiture of our business in Russia, recognising that our products and important for the safe operations of several industries, including food, amongst others,” the statement reads.
“We also decided not to pursue any new business development activities in the country. As always, we continue to review developing and applicable sanctions to ensure our ongoing compliance.”
Recognising its employees who may be affected by its decision, the statement continued, “For our people in Russia, we fully understand and recognise these actions will cause concern. As we move to divest our business in the country, we will continue to give them the support we can during this difficult period and put assistance programmes in place.”
In addition to announcing the divesture of its business in Russia, the statement also confirmed that Air Products is further supporting humanitarian efforts, providing financial support to the International Committee of the Red Cross from the Air Products Foundation.
According to gasworld Business Intelligence, the industrial market in Russia has been one of the fastest growing gas markets in Europe since 2000. The average annual growth was about 11% per year in local currency. The largest market falls in values USD occurred in 2009 (-20%), as well as in 2015-2016 (-26% and -11%, respectively).
gasworld Business Intelligence believes that Air Liquide and Linde, each occupying a quarter of the Russian market, were leaders until Linde and Praxair, merged took about 40%. Air Products hold about 5% in 2021. The remaining 30% belonged to other, local and international companies.