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March 15, 2022

Stanley Black & Decker shutting down Russian business over war in Ukraine

PHOTO | CONTRIBUTED Stanley Black & Decker's New Britain headquarters.

Stanley Black & Decker is shutting down operations in Russia in response to the country’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

“Stanley Black & Decker stands in solidarity with the people of Ukraine,” the New Britain-based tools and hardware manufacturer posted on social media. “We are shutting down our Russian business.”

The company also said it is donating $1 million to the United Nations’ refugee agency, UNICEF and the Red Cross, and doubling matches for employee donations to approved charities.

The day before Stanley’s message was released, President and CFO Donald Allan said the company has about 100 employees in Russia and 10 in Ukraine.

Allan, who was speaking at a Raymond James institutional investors conference, said Stanley’s first priority upon the outbreak of the war was making contact with its Ukrainian workers and seeing if it could help get them to safety.

“We’ve been focused on finding out where they were, do they want to get help getting out of the country, if they could leave, because men over 18 can’t leave the country,” he said. “So, in some cases, they stayed and we’ve helped their families get out. So at this point, we’ve done everything we can, but we continue to monitor their safety through this really horrible situation.”

Allan then referenced the numerous challenges facing operations in Russia. Based on his comments, it appears the company had not yet arrived at its final conclusion on how to handle the situation.

“Clearly, [our Russian business is] being dramatically devalued by what's happening with the ruble,” he said. “The business will continue to be under pressure as long as these sanctions are in place, which appears like it probably will be for quite some time. So we have a question that we have to figure out — is this still a business we want to have long term in Russia or is it something that we just have to exit over the coming weeks or months? So that’s something we're watching very closely to see how it plays out.”

Allan also noted that Stanley’s operations in Russia and Ukraine are commercial in nature, not manufacturing. The Russian business produces about $150 million in annual revenue, he estimated, while the Ukrainian business has around $5 million or $6 million in annual revenue.

Stanley Black & Decker is one of dozens of U.S. and European firms to have exited Russia or suspended operations there in response to the invasion of Ukraine, which escalated into a new, more violent phase late last month.

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