Dutch alcohol maker Heineken has completed its withdrawal from Russia, selling its business in Russia for just 1 euro, 18 months after Moscow launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the company announced on Friday.
Heineken said it would lose a total of 300 million euros ($325 million) for the sale to Russian manufacturing giant Ernst Group.
Heineken faced criticism for the slow pace of its exit after the war broke out, but insisted it was looking to look after its local workers in Russia.
In March last year, Heineken said it was leaving Russia because its business there was no longer sustainable or viable in the current environment, “but said it wanted to ensure an orderly transfer to a new owner.
“Although it has taken longer than we expected, this transaction secures the livelihood of our employees and allows us to exit the country in a responsible manner,” Heineken CEO Dolph van den Brink said in a statement.
The sale includes all of Heineken’s assets in Russia, including seven breweries. The company said Ernst has guaranteed employment for Heineken’s 1,800 local employees for three years.
Beer of the Heineken brand was withdrawn from the Russian market last year. The company said that Amstel, one of its other flagship brands, will be phased out within 6 months.
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first published: 25 August 2023 | 3:21 PM First