14 April 2023

Carlsberg denies report it will sell its Russian breweries to Efes

Denmark | That was quick. Only hours after Russian media reported on 15 March that Carlsberg will sell its Russian unit, Baltika, to its rival AB-InBev-Efes, Carlsberg in Copenhagen stated that this was not correct.

The Russian daily Vedomosti, citing two sources close to the talks, had said that day that a deal had been reached between the two companies.

A Carlsberg spokesperson told media that the report was not correct. However, Carlsberg did not deny it was in talks with Anadolu Efes.

What can this mean?

AB-InBev-Efes is the market leader in Russia and Baltika is ranked second. Combined, they control nearly half of the beer market. Many anti-trust watchdogs would reject a tie-up, which creates such a large player. But this being Russia, nothing can be ruled out nowadays.

While Efes decided to dig in in Russia, Carlsberg announced last year that it would exit the country and sell Baltika by December 2022, booking a USD 1.4 billion writedown. Later last year, it said that due to mounting political restrictions in Russia, it had been forced to extend its own deadline.

Still, Carlsberg's Chairman, Henrik Poulsen, told shareholders in March that the company had narrowed the group of potential buyers to just under ten. The brewer now expects to have a deal in place before the end of the second quarter and before its current CEO, Cees 't Hart, retires.

Brauwelt International Newsletter

Newsletter archive and information

Mandatory field