November 05, 2023

A Brewer's Betrayal


A Brewer's Betrayal
Carlsberg lager. Unsplash.

Following the release of its quarterly report, Jacob Orup-Andersen, the newly appointed CEO of Danish multinational brewing corporation Carlsberg, affirmed the company's stance against asset seizure in Russia. This announcement was reported by Reuters.

"It is impossible to bypass the fact that they [the Russian authorities] stole our business in Russia, and we are not going to help them give it a legalized look," said Orup-Andersen. “We are not going to make a deal with the Russian government, which somehow justifies the illegal seizure of our business.”

Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Carlsberg, as numerous other Western enterprises, chose to exit the Russian market. In June 2022, the Danish conglomerate disclosed it had found a buyer for its Russian operations. But the situation took a significant turn in July, when President Vladimir Putin implemented the nationalization of Carlsberg's stake in the Baltika brewing company.

In October 2023, Carlsberg officially declared the revocation of licenses previously granted to Baltika for the production and distribution of a wide array of Carlsberg brands, including iconic names such as Tuborg, Kronenbourg, and Holsten.

Orup-Andersen continued, "When these licenses expire, they will no longer be allowed to manufacture any of our products. Of course, I can't guarantee that this will happen, but we expect it.”

On October 20, Baltika successfully secured interim legal measures against Carlsberg through a court ruling. The court, in response to Baltika's petition, issued an injunction, restraining Rospatent from registering the termination of licenses for the prominent brands, which encompass Tuborg, Kronenbourg, Seth & Riley's Garage, Holsten, and LAV.

In response to Orup-Andersen's remarks, the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation said that the brewing entity Baltika is not under state ownership. It asserted that an administration of temporary management has been enacted, but that this move does not signify any alteration in the ownership framework. Furthermore, the Ministry of Finance underlined that the decision to implement temporary management at Baltika is in accordance with Russian law.

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