Quinn Group opens new store in far-flung Russian republic
Cavan-based company invests €30m in Bashkortostan DIY venture
THE Quinn Group, which owns everything from cement makers and Quinn Health Insurance to hotels and chemical companies, opened a €30m do-it-yourself store in the oil-rich Russian republic of Bashkortostan yesterday.
The Cavan-based group, which has invested in hotels and shopping centres in eastern Europe and India, opened the store in the Bashkortostan capital Ufa, close to the city's existing Ikea store, the company said in a press release.
The new store is being let by Castorama, a French DIY chain that is ultimately owned by Kingfisher, which owns the B&Q chain here and in the UK.
Bashkortostan, which is twice the size of Ireland and has four million people, is in the southern Urals and is home to important Russian companies such as Gazprom and billionaire Vladimir Yevtushenkov's Sistema, which control the republic's key oil, energy and metals industries.
Yesterday's store opening was carried out by Peter Quinn, a son of Fermanagh businessman Sean, and the newly appointed president of Bashkortostan, Khamitov Rustem.
President Rustem replaced 76-year-old President Murtaza Rakhimov earlier this summer. The latter was often accused of ruling the oil-rich state with an iron fist.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has dismissed a number of old-guard governors since late last year as Moscow attempts to place its own men in positions of power.
Peter Quinn, who heads the group's property arm, said yesterday that he had high expectations about the future of its investments in Russia.
"We are proud to announce the opening of our new retail development here in Ufa and would like to thank all those involved in bringing the project to completion. On behalf of the Quinn Group, I would like to welcome Castorama to our growing list of international tenants and wish them every success with their new venture in Ufa," he added.