Danone + Carlsberg: Is the booty being distributed yet?

Bremerhaven / DE. (eb) On July 19th Carlsberg Group has seen the statements published by the Russian Federal Agency for State Property Management regarding the appointment of temporary management of Baltika Breweries. According to the Group’s information, the information provided in this statement is correct. With the signing of the presidential decree on 16 July 2023, Carlsberg Group no longer retains control of the management or operations of Baltika Breweries. The change to the management of Baltika Breweries has consequently been made without the knowledge or approval by the Danes. It is unclear to the Group what implications this development will have on the ongoing operations of Baltika Breweries as well as the current sales process. Carlsberg will continue to provide information on material developments related to the temporary management of Baltika Breweries following the presidential decree.

Baltika is the largest brewery group in the Russian Federation. According to Wikipedia it was founded in Saint Petersburg (Putin’s hometown) in 1990 and has quickly become an important economic factor for the city. Baltika was originally a joint venture between the Finnish beverage company Hartwall and its Norwegian partner Orkla. The company’s majority shareholder today is Baltic Beverages Holding (BBH), which in turn has been owned by Denmark’s Carlsberg Brewery since 2012. On March 28, 2022, Carlsberg announced its intention to withdraw from Russia and thus also part with Baltika. Since July 16, 2023, the Baltika Breweries are temporarily under Russian state administration by presidential decree.

Kadyrov nephew heads Russian Danone subsidiary

Yakub Zakriyev, nephew of Chechen ruler Ramzan Kadyrov, has taken over as general director of the Danone subsidiary in Russia. The company has been under Russian administration since July 17, 2023. Kadyrov is considered a close confidant of Vladimir Putin. The appointment of Zakriyev (32) was confirmed by several news reports, citing Chechen Information Minister Akhmed Dudaev. Apart from the reaction on July 16, 2023, the Danone Group is now keeping a low profile. Who might be at the helm of Carlsberg subsidiary as of late, on the other hand, is not yet known. Both Danone and Carlsberg were presented with a fait accompli earlier this week – see «Russia places Danone + Carlsberg under external management».