Donskoy Tabak: brilliant past, unclear future

The largest Russian independent tobacco factory, Donskoy Tabak, is being prepared for sale. But the prospects of the company may not be as bright as the sound sales and export figures of the past three years suggest. The company‚Äôs performance may well be at its peak and uncertainties, stemming from fines for improper advertising to children as well as dubious export schemes, lie ahead. Several major players, including China National Tobacco Corporation, compete for the purchase of the company based in Rostov-on-Don. The complete list of contenders are known only to the shareholders in Donskoy Tabak, of whom there are just two: the Savvidi family (87.36%) and Open Joint Stock Company Primary Don (12.64%). Ivan Savvidi has been director general of the factory since the privatisation of the former state-owned facility in 1993. Elected to the parliament in 2003, he registered his stake (which was then 75%) to his wife, Kyriaki Savvidi. 

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