Today, nearly two months after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, AB InBev announced "that it will sell its non-controlling interest in the AB InBev Efes joint venture and is in active discussions with its partner, Turkish Brewer Anadolu Efes, to acquire this interest. AB InBev’s request regarding the suspension of the license for production and sale of Bud in Russia will also be part of a potential transaction."
The world's largest brewery group thus gave in to the ever-increasing public pressure (inside.beer, 19.4.2022) and followed the brewery groups Carlsberg and Heineken, that had announced this step already about one month earlier. (inside.beer, 28.3.2022)
AB InBev took a long time, some say too long, to make this decision. Before, the company announced it is forfeiting all financial benefit as a non-controlling partner from the joint venture operations. But given the gravity of the events in Ukraine and the brutality and severity of the Russian aggression, that still didn't seem enough to many.
Like the other brewery groups before it, AB InBev has now announced a clear cut and the separation from all activities in Russia. As a result, AB InBev is de-recognizing the investments in AB InBev Efes and will report a USD 1.1 billion non-cash impairment charge in non-underlying share of results of associates as part of its first quarter results announcement.
According to a press statement issued today, AB InBev continues to support its employees, their families and the humanitarian relief efforts in Ukraine together with its partner. Support for its displaced employees and their families includes counseling, housing and financial support. In addition to donating to NGOs and the relief organization Caritas, AB InBev is working in partnership with them, other companies and local NGOs to provide food, blankets, medical supplies and 3 million cans of emergency drinking water to Ukraine and surrounding refugee relief areas.
AB InBev has also introduced Chernigivske, Ukraine’s most loved beer brand, to many countries, including the UK, Germany, Belgium, France, Netherlands, Denmark, Austria, Poland, Italy, Colombia and Brazil with additional markets planned. All profits from the sale of Chernigivske will go to support humanitarian relief efforts and AB InBev is guaranteeing at least 5 million USD of support from this humanitarian initiative.