Dutch brewing giant Heineken is finally leaving Russia after all: the brewer is selling its Russian arm to the local Arnest Group, a producer of packaging and cosmetics. The takeover price? One euro.
“In a responsible way”
Heineken has sold its seven breweries and 1,800 employees in Russia to the Arnest Group for the princely sum of one euro, but the acquirer does have to repay an outstanding corporate debt of 100 million and guarantees employment for three years. Heineken expects the sale to involve a loss of 300 million euros.
The Dutch company had already announced that it would leave Russia shortly after the invasion of Ukraine, but while the Heineken brand did disappear from the market, the brewer appeared to be launching other products there – according to the group itself, to avoid bankruptcy.
“While it took much longer than we had hoped, this transaction secures the livelihoods of our employees and allows us to exit the country in a responsible manner”, CEO Dolf van den Brink said.