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French banking major Societe Generale is in talks to sell the Russian arm of its leasing subsidiary ALD Automotive, TASS reported citing Les Echos newspaper.

Citing sources, the report said that Societe Generale is holding discussions with Russian businessman Igor Kim, who is the main shareholder of Russia’s Expobank.

Kim is also among those vying to buy Russian assets of the US-based Citi and London-headquartered HSBC

ALD Automotive owns some 14,600 vehicles in Russia and Belarus. 

The development comes as ALD Automotive inches closer to completing the €4.9bn acquisition of LeasePlan, one of the top leasing companies with 1.9 million vehicles and operations in over 30 nations.

NewALD, the company that will result from the proposed merger of ALD and LeasePlan, will have a combined fleet of 3.5 million vehicles.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine and the retaliatory sanctions have forced foreign entities to sell their Russian assets. 

Last April, Societe Generale agreed to sell its banking and insurance business in Russia to Interros Capital for an undisclosed sum.

Interros Capital is linked to Russian oligarch Vladimir Potanin.

Announcing the sale of its entire stake in Rosbank and its insurance subsidiaries, Societe Generale had said the deal will cost it around €3.1bn.

In July, the Financial Times reported that Potanin had expressed interest in buying Citi’s assets in Russia but a deal would be difficult because the UK has imposed sanctions on Potanin.