Heineken & Carlsberg to Leave Russia Permanently

Heineken is the third-largest brewer in Russia. 

© Shutterstock

Heineken beer

Heineken is the third-largest brewer in Russia. 

© Shutterstock

Permanent exit

Heineken, the world's second-biggest brewer, has decided to take €400 million/$446 million hit to sell off its Russian-based businesses. Following a strategic review, Heineken says its ownership of its Russian business is “no longer sustainable nor viable in the current environment”.

“We aim for an orderly transfer of our business to a new owner in full compliance with international and local laws. To ensure the ongoing safety and wellbeing of our employees and to minimise the risk of nationalisation, we concluded that it is essential that we continue with the recently reduced operations during this transition period,” the company said.

Earlier this month, Heineken decided to stop new investments and exports to Russia amid Moscow's ongoing war against Ukraine. The Dutch brewing giant is the third-largest brewer in Russia but its sales only account for 2% of the company's total, according to Fortune.

Exodus from Russia

Carlsberg, the largest beer maker in Russia with 8,400 employees, is also pulling out of the country. Its Russian business had sales of DKK 6.5 billion/$974 million in 2021.

Following the invasion of the Ukraine "we have taken the difficult and immediate decision to seek a full disposal of our business in Russia, which we believe is the right thing to do in the current environment, the Danish brewer said. "Upon completion we will have no presence in Russia."

A larger number of Western brands have exited Russia at least temporarily, including  McDonald's, Goldman Sachs and Coca Cola.