Consumer product

P&G to Keep Investing in Russia Despite Risks

Procter & Gamble will keep investing in Russian plants this year and beyond despite political risks between the U.S. and Russia.

The U.S. consumer goods group company, who makes the Tide detergent and Gillette razors, plans to invest around $50 million in its two plants in 2018.

“We are committed to the market, we are committed to the Russian consumers. Until today we have invested roughly $800 million and counting,” said Sotirios Marinidis, P&G’s head for Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

“I think that’s in the interest of both the U.S. and Russia to continue to have good business relationships going forward. That’s all I can hope for and if something different happens, we need to deal with it,” he added.

Relations between Moscow and Washington are at their lowest since the Cold War due to alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. elections and Russia’s annexation of Crimea four years ago.

Russia’s lower house of parliament this week approved a bill that would give the government authority to ban trade in certain items with countries deemed to be unfriendly to Moscow, in response to a new round of U.S. sanctions.

Lawmakers are also debating legislation that would make it a crime for a Russian citizen to comply with the U.S. measures.

Marinidis said he hoped the situation would not deteriorate to the point where P&G cannot serve consumers.

P&G Buying Back Debt

Meanwhile, P&G announced that it expects to pay more than $1.4 billion to buy back debt, up from the previous estimate $1.25 billion.

The company revealed that it would pay cash for 11 types of debt securities, including two monetized in British pounds and two in euros.

The offering includes more than $260 million in debt that carries interest rates of 8 percent or higher. That’s higher than the company would have to pay if it borrowed money now. Those three groups of debt mature between 2022 and 2029.

Procter & Gamble had $5.3 billion in cash on its balance sheet as of March 31, according to its most recent financial statement. P&G could also use the offering to refinance its debt at lower rates.

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