AB InBev has come under heavy criticism in recent weeks for maintaining its brewing stake in Russia amid Russia's brutal invasion to Ukraine. While Carlsberg and Heineken have unanimously announced their withdrawal from Russia and their intention to sell their holdings, AB InBev has so far refused to do so. (inside.beer, 28.03.2022)
Today AB InBev released a new statement, but those who were hoping for a clear statement on the future cooperation with joint venture partner Anadolu Efes, or even an announcement of a sale of the Russian stake, will most likely be disappointed.
The statement reads as follows:
“We are providing critical assistance to our 1,800 employees in Ukraine and their families, including providing housing and financial support. In addition to donating to the Red Cross, we are working in partnership with them, other CPGs and local NGOs to provide food, blankets, medical supplies and 2 million cans of emergency drinking water to Ukraine and surrounding refugee relief areas.
“We have a joint venture in Ukraine and Russia with Turkish brewer Anadolu Efes. Yet, we do not have a controlling stake at the joint venture and do not consolidate it in our accounts. We have requested the controlling shareholder to suspend the license for the production and sale of Bud in Russia. Furthermore, we are forfeiting all financial benefit from the joint venture operations.
“The joint venture employees in Ukraine and Russia will continue to be supported and paid. We are focused on supporting our employees, their families and the humanitarian relief efforts in Ukraine while wishing for peace.”