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Turkish retailer in talks to take over Reebok’s Russian stores

Shoe Shop, Shop, Clothing Creative Commons
A Reebok store in London's Covent Garden. The US footwear company has more than 100 outlets in Russia.
  • FLO Magazacilik could take on US footwear firm’s 100-plus outlets
  • Chairman Mehmet Ziylan denied reports that the deal is already done
  • Reebok suspended its Russian operations in March

Turkish shoe retailer FLO Magazacilik is in talks to buy more than 100 stores owned by Reebok in Russia, FLO’s chairman Mehmet Ziylan said on Monday.

Ziylan said a deal had not been finalised, denying a report in Russian daily Kommersant that the Turkish company had already taken over the US chain’s Russian outlets.

“We are talking, but there is nothing more definite,” Ziylan said.

Kommersant cited a source close to FLO as saying the deal had been completed, as Western companies rush to comply with sanctions imposed after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Authentic Brands Group, which owns Reebok, was not immediately available for comment.

Boston-based Reebok suspended all branded stores and e-commerce operations in Russia in March.

Kommersant cited analysts as saying the deal could be worth as much as $24.8 million. Ziylan declined to comment on the size of the potential agreement.

He said FLO currently makes wholesale sales to Russia, but does not have its own stores there.

The deal is likely to add to concerns that prized assets are being snapped up at bargain prices by companies from Russia or other non-Western countries.

Last month Anheuser-Busch InBev said it planned to exit Russia by selling its interest in a joint venture with Turkish brewer Anadolu Efes that operates in Russia and Ukraine. It expects to take a $1.1 billion hit as a result.

McDonald’s – whose first restaurant in Moscow opened more than 30 years ago, providing a potent symbol of a new era – announced on Monday that it was quitting Russia for good.

Asked about investing in Russia when many international brands were leaving, Ziylan said his company would follow the Turkish government’s policy.

“Our country does not have an embargo there. We will continue as long as our country does not tell us to stop,” he said.

Turkey, a Black Sea neighbour of Russia and Ukraine, has good ties with the warring nations and has opposed Western sanctions on Moscow.