Heineken finally cuts ties with Russia 18 months after the Ukraine invasion

Heineken trucks, and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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Heineken finally cut ties with Russia 18 months after the Ukraine invasion.
The company took a 300 million euro hit after selling its Russian operations for 1 euro. 
Only about half the western companies that pledged to leave Russia have made a clean break, per a Yale study.

Heineken has finally sold its Russian operations 18 months after Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine. 

The token one euro payment transferred its assets, including seven breweries, to Russia’s Arnest Group. Heineken will take a hit of about 300 million euros ($324 million) following the sale, the Financial Times reported

Arnest agreed to maintain employment for Heineken’s 1,800 employees in Russia for three years. 

“I wish we would have been able to close this deal many months before,” Heineken CEO Van den Brink said Friday. “There was a real risk for legal prosecution of our local people, there was a real risk of nationalization.”

Heineken is the latest company to pull out of Russia, which last month seized assets from France’s Danone and Denmark’s Carlsberg. In April Moscow passed a law allowing the government to seize assets from companies based in “unfriendly” nations. 

Since the Ukraine invasion, western companies have been pulling out of Russia in response to sanctions and pressure from investors and consumers.

A Financial Times analysis of 600 companies’ financial reports showed that 176 had recorded losses due to the sale or closure of operations in Russia, or a reduction in business there. 

Not all companies have managed to cut their ties, however. A Yale University study found that just over half of 1,000 companies that pledged to leave Russia have made a clean break.

Last month Unilever, which makes products such as Dove soap, said leaving Russia was “not straightforward” because the government would take over its facilities if it walked away, BBC News reported.

Rivals such as Proctor & Gamble are also still operating to some extent in Russia. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

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