Global Beer Giants Heineken and Carlsberg to Exit Russia
By Alistair MacDonald and Saabira Chaudhuri
Heineken NV and Carlsberg A/S, the world's second- and
third-largest global brewers, respectively, both said Monday they
would exit Russia, joining a growing list of major Western
companies leaving the country.
The moves by the beer giants further narrow the pool of big
global companies still doing business in Russia. Hundreds of
businesses, including fast-food chains, auto makers, oil giants and
banks, have now said they are pausing or ending operations in
Russia in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine.
Heineken and Carlsberg had both previously halted new
investments in Russia, and scaled back some operations, while
continuing to do business there. On Monday, both said they had now
reviewed their operations and decided to dispose of their assets in
the country. Upon completion of the moves, neither will have a
presence in Russia.
The decision is particularly significant for Carlsberg, which is
among the Western companies with the biggest exposure to Russia.
The Danish brewer generates about 10% of its annual revenue and
more than 6% of its operating profit from Russia, where it owns
eight breweries and has around 8,400 employees.
"We have taken the difficult and immediate decision to seek a
full disposal of our business in Russia, which we believe is the
right thing to do in the current environment," Carlsberg Chief
Executive Cees 't Hart said in a statement.
The company warned of a "substantial" non-cash impairment charge
related to the disposal. It said any profit generated from its
Russian business during the war would be donated to relief
Dutch rival Heineken said in a statement that it had decided to
leave Russia after a review had concluded that ownership of its
business there was "no longer sustainable nor viable in the current
Heineken said it would continue to pay its 1,800 staff in Russia
until the end of the year and that it wouldn't profit from any
transfer of ownership of its operations there. It added that the
move would result in a one-off EUR400 million charge.
The exits leave Budweiser brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev SA as the
last remaining major global brewer to retain a presence in Russia.
The world No. 1 beer company has asked its joint venture partner,
Turkey's Anadolu Efes, to suspend brewing Bud in Russia and has
said it will forfeit its profits from the JV.
AB InBev doesn't disclose how much revenue it earns through the
Efes joint venture--in which it has a noncontrolling stake--but a
spokeswoman has previously described it as immaterial.
Dominic Chopping contributed to this article.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
March 28, 2022 12:32 ET (16:32 GMT)
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