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date: 19 February 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article tracks the evolution of Russian business groups since their emergence during privatization in the 1990s and the restructuring and consolidation that followed. As in other economies, the growth of business groups in Russia has been a natural response to multiple market and government failures that gave rise to “institutional economies of scale.” This article argues that some of the business groups will grow into major multinational companies while others will be acquired by foreign multinationals (either unit by unit or wholesale). Few are likely to remain diversified conglomerates. Furthermore, this article also discusses the phenomenon of government-owned business groups and so-called state corporations. While the focus of this article is on private business groups, understanding their evolution is virtually impossible without reference to state-owned groups, or the large state-owned firms (which may be bigger than many business groups but essentially have one business unit).

Keywords: Russian business groups, government-owned business groups, state corporations, private business groups, state-owned firms

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