On Monday, a Russian court ruled in favor of Baltika, the country's second-largest brewery, allowing it to continue using Carlsberg's brands despite the Danish brewery losing control of the company and Baltika facing license revocation. (inside.beer, 3.10.2023)
In July, Moscow took control of Carlsberg's shares, placing Baltika under "interim management." (inside.beer, 16.7.2023) Carlsberg CEO Jacob Aarup-Andersen claimed that Carlsberg's business had been taken, and the company would not engage in any deal legitimizing the seizure. (inside.beer, 1.11.2023)
Following this, Baltika filed a lawsuit against Carlsberg in Russia to retain the right to use the brands. The St. Petersburg and Leningrad Region Arbitration Court ruled in favor of Baltika on Monday, as reported by the Interfax news agency. According to a court document, "The claim is fully satisfied."
A month ago, Denis Sherstennikov and Anton Rogachevsky, CEO and Vice President of Baltika, were arrested on suspicion of fraud. They were accused of illegally transferring certain intellectual property rights to Carlsberg when Russia took control. Carlsberg maintained the innocence of its employees. (inside.beer, 16.11.2023)
This episode underscores the challenges faced by Western companies dealing with the fallout from Moscow's actions in Ukraine or attempting to disentangle themselves from Russia.