Heineken and Carlsberg have announced they will sell their businesses in Russia and exit the country.
Heineken’s decision follows the brewer announcing earlier this month that it was halting operations in Russia following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
While other major brewers have reduced operations in the country, Heineken is the first to exit Russia completely.
The company issued a statement about its decision to leave Russia. It said: “We are shocked and deeply saddened to watch the war in Ukraine continue to unfold and intensify.
“We earlier announced that Heineken stopped new investments and exports to Russia, ended the production, sale and advertising of the Heineken brand, and announced that we will not accept any net financial benefits or profit from our business in Russia.
“Following the previously announced strategic review of our operations, we have concluded that Heineken’s ownership of the business in Russia is no longer sustainable nor viable in the current environment. As a result, we have decided to leave Russia.
“We aim for an orderly transfer of our business to a new owner in full compliance with international and local laws. To ensure the ongoing safety and wellbeing of our employees and to minimise the risk of nationalisation, we concluded that it is essential that we continue with the recently reduced operations during this transition period.
“In all circumstances we guarantee the salaries of our 1800 employees will be paid to the end of 2022 and will do our utmost to safeguard their future employment.
“We will not profit from any transfer of ownership and we expect an impairment and other non-cash exceptional charges of approximately €0.4 billion in total.
“Upon completion of the transfer Heineken will no longer have a presence in Russia. We continue to hope that a path to a peaceful outcome emerges in the near term.”
Carlsberg Group to exit Russia
Carlsberg said it condemns the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the escalating humanitarian and refugee crisis.
CEO Cees ‘t Hart said: “On 9 March, we announced a strategic review of the Carlsberg Group’s presence in Russia. Based on this review, 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. Upon completion we will have no presence in Russia.
“As a result of this decision, our business in Russia will no longer be included in the Group’s revenue and operating profit. From an accounting perspective, the business will be treated as an asset held for sale until completion of the disposal. The business will be reassessed at fair value, which will result in a substantial non-cash impairment charge. In 2021, the business in Russia reported revenue and operating profit of DKK 6.5bn and DKK 682m respectively. We will later provide further details on the accounting impact of the planned disposal and the reintroduction of earnings guidance.
“We deeply regret the consequences of this decision for our 8400 employees in Russia. Until the completion of the process, we will maintain the recently announced reduced level of operations to sustain the livelihoods of these employees and their families. Any profits generated during the humanitarian crisis will be donated to relief organisations.
“Our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine and we call for peace to be urgently restored.”
Aussie brewers unite to release Puck Futin Red Ale
Ukrainian brewery Pravda has called on brewers around the world to make its beer and donate the profits to war relief. Three Aussie breweries have heeded the call, joining together to create a Puck Futin Red Ale.
Inspired by Pravda’s spirit, and for reasons very close to home, South Australian trio Prancing Pony Brewery, Barossa Valley Brewing, and Route 9 Distillery, have joined forces to brew their Red Eye Pale Ale.
The proceeds from the project will be donated to charities assisting with humanitarian aid in the Ukraine and for Ukrainian refugees arriving in Australia.