Rostec may cede control of iconic Kalashnikov arms manufacturer

Rostec, Russia’s state-run industrial  holding company, is considering lowering its stakeholding in the iconic Kalashnikov small arms manufacturer from 51% to 25% line plus one blocking vote, its CEO Sergey Chemezov said yesterday. 
One of the country’s  best-known brands and producer of the ubiquitous AK-47 assault rifle, 70% of Kalashnikov’s sales of hunting and sporting weapons went to the US and Europe before the West’s imposition of sanctions on Russia after its annexation of Crimea and the subsequent conflict in Ukraine. Since then, the company has  diversified into new product lines, slashed jobs  and given the brand a makeover to increase its appeal to Russian arms enthusiasts and hunters.
In May this year,  it announced that it was to branch out into ‘military-style’ casual clothing and to open 60 stores across Russia. “Kalashnikov is a global brand, and we rightly believe that clothing and souvenir products with our symbol on it will be in demand among buyers,” the company’s Marketing Director Vladimir Smitiyev told Izvestia at the time. Companies like Caterpillar and Ferrari made up to 10% of their revenue from branded apparel, he added. 
Rostec intends to sell its shares on to private investors, according to Chemezov and  its plans needed to be discussed with other government agencies.”We will make final decision by the end of the year,” he said.

Source: tass