13 October 2023

Carlsberg terminates all licensing agreements with Baltika in Russia

Denmark | Retaliating against the Kremlin’s confiscation of its Russian unit Baltika in July, Carlsberg said on 2 October that it has ended all licencing agreements for its brands in Russia.

Although Carlsberg stopped producing its eponymous brand and Tuborg last year to boycott against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, various other Carlsberg-owned brands were still being sold by Baltika.

“We have now concluded that we currently see no path to a negotiated solution for exiting Russia,” Carlsberg said in a statement. “We refuse to be forced into a deal on unacceptable terms, justifying the illegitimate takeover of our business in Russia.”

But once the stock runs out …?

Baltika will be able to use existing stock and materials from Carlsberg until 1 April 2024, the brewer said.

Reuters news agency reported that Baltika had sought to compel Rospatent, Russia's intellectual property agency, to ignore any requests from Carlsberg to terminate its access to brands, such as Tuborg and Kronenbourg. However, the Russian court rejected Baltika’s request.

“It is unclear what formally will be the next steps in relation to Baltika,” Carlsberg said.

“We retain title to the shares in the company while the temporary management is transferred to the Russian state. What the Russian state chooses to do under these circumstances is not clear,” the group added.

Carlsberg had eight breweries and about 8,400 employees in Russia, and took a DKK 9.9 billion (USD 1.4 billion) write-down on Baltika.

Brauwelt International Newsletter

Newsletter archive and information

Mandatory field