Emerging Markets: A New Frontier

Despite fears of government meddling, Western companies are buying Russian businesses at a record pace

Alexander Nemenov / AFP / Getty

Novy Arbat, a downtown shopping street in Moscow

Like most big western companies, the British home-electronics retailer Dixons Group has closely tracked the rise of Russia's consumer market over the past few years, agonizing over when and how to jump in. In April the company finally took the plunge, announcing a $1.9 billion deal to acquire Eldorado, Russia's leading specialist retailer of consumer electronics and domestic appliances, with more than 600 stores. But Dixons is still nervous about the Russian investment climate, and its worries haven't been helped by recent problems at high-profile Western firms, including BP. So the firm has made an arrangement in which it won't have...

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