The Russian state has taken control of the Russian subsidiary of French yogurt maker Danone and Swedish brewer Carlsberg’s stake in a local company, Baltika Breweries, according to a decree signed by President Vladimir Putin on Sunday under the law forfeiture of foreign assets. The two Western companies had put their assets in Russia up for sale after the invasion of Ukraine.
The announcement, picked up by the Interfax agency, stipulates that the foreign-owned stakes in Danone Russia and Baltika Breweries have been placed under the “temporary administration” of the Federal Property Management Agency (Rosimushchestvo). Specifically, the agency assumes control of 100% of Baltika, including 98.56% owned by the Swedish brewer. Likewise, 100% of Danone’s Russian business has also been managed by the agency.
The move comes after the Russian subsidiaries of Germany’s Uniper and Finland’s Fortum OyJ came under state control in April. The Kremlin warned at the time that it could seize more Western assets in retaliation for foreign moves against Russian companies outside the country.
Danone said last October that it was looking for a buyer for its business on Russian soil. Carlsberg also said in June that it had signed an agreement to sell its Russian business and that the transaction was pending approval from regulatory authorities.
Putin signed a decree in April allowing “temporary” state control over the assets of companies or individuals from “unfriendly” states, including the United States and its allies, in response to similar moves, or the threat of them, by of those countries.
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, large Western companies have been leaving the country, such as the MSC and Maersk shipping companies and groups such as Volvo, Daimler, Disney, Apple and Nike, as well as Spanish companies such as Inditex and Mango.
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