The Kremlin has placed the Russian operations of Danish brewing group Carlsberg and French food-products corporation Danone, under temporary state administration. President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Sunday, stating that a government agency will assume control over the stake of Russia's operations of both Western companies.
It is believed that Russia intends to send a prominent signal to all Western firms that are planning to withdraw from the country due to the war in Ukraine.
The Baltika Group, in which Carlsberg held a 27% stake, is the market leader in Russia and has been brewing foreign brands such as Carlsberg, Tuborg, Asahi Super Dry, Holsten, and Warsteiner under license.
As the Carlsberg Group informed in a statement today, it has not received any official information from the Russian Authorities regarding the presidential decree or the consequences for Baltika Breweries.
“The Carlsberg Group has been operating in accordance with local rules and regulations in Russia and finds this development unexpected. The Group will assess the legal and operational consequences of this development and take all necessary actions in response,” Carlsberg said.
“On 28 March 2022, the Carlsberg Group announced its decision to seek a full disposal of its business in Russia. Following an extensive process of separating the business from the rest of the Carlsberg Group, an agreement to sell the Russian business had already been signed on 23 June 2023, subject to regulatory approvals and fulfillment of certain conditions in a number of jurisdictions. [inside.beer, 23.06.2023] Following the presidential decree, the prospects for this sales process are now highly uncertain”, the statement goes on.
“The Group is in the process of obtaining more detailed information and will publish any relevant and verified information, including potential financial implications, as soon as possible.”