The Russian state has apparently nationalised the local branches of Carlsberg and Danone, without the knowledge of the companies themselves.
Without prior notice
On Sunday, President Vladimir Putin signed a decree allowing the Russian government to seize the local divisions of France’s Danone and Denmark’s Carlsberg. The shares of both companies have been put under “temporary management” by state-owned vehicle Rosimushchestvo. Russia has been threatening to nationalise assets of Western companies since the start of the war in Ukraine, in response to Western sanctions.
Danone and Carlsberg were both still operating in Russia, despite increasing pressure in the West to withdraw from the country. Carlsberg said it had finally found a potential acquirer, but was still waiting for approval from the authorities. Its subsidiary Baltika has about 30 % market share in Russia, The Guardian reports. Last October, Danone also said it was (partly) leaving the country, excluding its infant nutrition.
Remarkably, the companies do not seem to have been notified of the seizure. Carlsberg says it has received no official information from the Russian authorities about the presidential decree or its consequences. In any case, the planned takeover becomes “highly uncertain” now, the company responds. Danone is investigating the situation and making preparations to protect its rights as a shareholder and the continuity of operations, not least for employees.