Russia has seized control of shares belonging to Danone Russia and Carlsberg-owned brewing company, Baltika, under a presidential decree aimed at businesses from “unfriendly” countries.
The decree, which has been signed by Vladimir Putin, will see the Russian state “temporarily” managing the shares, The Telegraph reported.
Carlsberg has said it did not receive any official information from the Russian authorities regarding the decree or the consequences for Baltika Breweries, which is one of the countries leading brewing companies and holds around 30% of the market share.
The Danish brewing company added this was “unexpected” and noted that it will “assess the legal and operational consequences of this development and take all necessary actions in response.”
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Danone is also investigating the situation and “preparing to take all necessary measures to protect its rights as a shareholder of Danone Russia”.
It is one of few Western companies to have remained in the country following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
However, in October, the food company launched a process to transfer the control of its dairy and plant-based businesses in Russia, which it said was “progressing according to the expected schedule.”
Carlsberg announced its decision to seek a full disposal of its business in Russia in March 2022, and signed an agreement to sell this on 23 June 2023.
Although it said that following the presidential decree, the prospects for the sales process are now “highly uncertain”.