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Russia denies stealing Carlsberg subsidiary

Russia’s foreign ministry has denied stealing Carlsberg’s business and has declared shares were lawfully transferred under state management.

It follows the company attempted to offload its Baltika subsidiary after the war in Ukraine last year, when an exodus of other Western companies left Russia. The firm had found a buyer for the business in June this year, and formally announced plans, noting that 150 work streams and DKK150 million (£17.3m) in brewery equipment investments had to be considered. Despite this, a decree reportedly signed by President Vladimir Putin had revealed that the state was taking over the business.

What followed was Carlsberg CEO Jacob Aarup-Andersen stating that Russia had “stolen our business” and going on to explain how Carlsberg would not enter a deal with the Kremlin to avoid helping them “make that look legitimate”.

In response to this, Russia’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told the Hurriyet Daily News that the takeover had not been unlawful.

Zakharova said: “The information presented in the interpretation made by Aarup-Andersen has nothing to do with reality” and insisted that the shares were temporarily transferred under state management in accordance with the law. Previously, the Russian finance ministry has said the federal property agency Rosimushchestvo has been appointed as a temporary manager, although it also said in a statement that “does not entail a change in the ownership structure”.

Many companies have left Russia since Moscow launched its war on Ukraine, however the Kremlin is said to have tightened restrictions on foreign companies trying to sell off their Russian subsidiaries. In late October, the Kremlin warned that there would be no “free exit” for Western companies selling off their Russian assets.

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