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March 18, 2022, 5:39 p.m. EDT

Yale professor is keeping tabs on companies still operating in Russia despite Ukraine invasion — and many have now pulled out

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By Ciara Linnane

A Yale professor and his research team are keeping tabs on companies that are still operating in Russia in the wake of its invasion of neighboring Ukraine — and many have responded by announcing plans to withdraw, with the pace of the announcements quickening through the week:

The situation remains fluid, but for now the list includes Coty Inc. /zigman2/quotes/208645074/composite COTY +7.33% , Dunkin’ Donuts , Schlumberger Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/201012972/composite SLB +0.23% and Otis Worldwide Corp. /zigman2/quotes/217080227/composite OTIS +3.31% .

Non-U.S. companies on the Yale list, headed up by business-school professor Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, include Nestlé /zigman2/quotes/208115528/delayed CH:NESN +0.26% and Pirelli /zigman2/quotes/207723671/delayed IT:PIRC +2.24% .

A handful of household-name companies managed to get off the list.

McDonald’s Corp. /zigman2/quotes/203508018/composite MCD +1.77% announced it would temporarily close all of its 850 restaurants in Russia but continue paying its 62,000 workers, the Associated Press reported.

Coca-Cola Co. /zigman2/quotes/209159848/composite KO +1.87% and Starbucks Corp. /zigman2/quotes/207508890/composite SBUX +3.87% said that they, too, were pausing operations there. Starbucks has 130 locations in Russia.

Food and beverage giant PepsiCo. /zigman2/quotes/208744353/composite PEP +1.24% said it was halting sales of Pepsi-Cola and other soft drinks including 7Up and Mirinda, and also suspending investments and advertising and promotional activities in Russia.

PepsiCo has “a responsibility to continue to offer our other products in Russia, including daily essentials such as milk and other dairy offerings, baby formula and baby food,” the company said .

The continuation of some operations also supports “the livelihoods of our 20,000 Russian associates and the 40,000 Russian agricultural workers in our supply chain as they face significant challenges and uncertainty ahead,” it said.

See: U.S. and its allies to revoke ‘most favored nation’ status for Russia

Kellogg Co. /zigman2/quotes/209631250/composite K +2.02% was removed: “We have already suspended all shipments and investments into Russia,” Kellogg spokesperson Kris Bahner told MarketWatch.

Honeywell International Inc. /zigman2/quotes/205583690/composite HON +3.12% also suspended business in Russia.

“Given the current conditions in Eastern Europe, we have suspended substantially all of our sales, distribution and service activities in Russia and Belarus. We continue to evaluate the situation,” the company told MarketWatch.

Yum Brands, parent to Pizza Hut and KFC, said it has s uspended all investment and restaurant development in Russia. The company has about 1,000 KFC restaurants and 50 Pizza Hut locations in Russia, nearly all of which are franchise-operated.

And tobacco company Philip Morris International Inc. /zigman2/quotes/201611010/composite PM +1.80% said it was suspending investment in Russia and activating a plan to scale back manufacturing .

That was followed by Papa John’s International Inc. /zigman2/quotes/207343722/composite PZZA +0.01% , which said it has suspended all corporate operations as it condemned the Ukraine invasion. Papa John’s has 186 restaurants in Russia, but they are all owned by franchisees, and it doesn’t receive any royalties.

Sporty footwear and apparel company Skechers USA Inc. /zigman2/quotes/201784799/composite SKX +5.21% said it would temporarily suspend shipments to Russia following its invasion of neighboring Ukraine. The company said it’s also donating $250,000 in humanitarian aid to Ukraine and matching employee donations up to another $250,000. 

And S&P Global Inc. /zigman2/quotes/208931849/composite SPGI +2.37% said it would suspend commercial operations in Russia, just a week after downgrading Russia’s sovereign rating further into junk territory.

Oreo maker Mondelez International Inc. /zigman2/quotes/201769764/composite MDLZ +2.64% announced Wednesday that it would scale back all non-essential activities in Russia, “while helping maintain continuity of the food supply during the challenging times ahead.”

Caterpillar Inc. /zigman2/quotes/203434128/composite CAT +3.82% said it was suspending operations at Russian manufacturing facilities and donating $1 million to Ukraine through its Caterpillar Foundation.

Deere & Co. said it has suspended shipments of its farm and construction equipment to both Russia and Belarus, the Wall Street Journal reported.

On Thursday, German fashion brand Hugo Boss /zigman2/quotes/207928116/delayed XE:BOSS +0.94% said it has temporarily closed its stores and suspended its own retail and e-commerce business activities in Russia. The company said it will give all affected employees “financial and operational support.”

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