- by Annabelle Liang
- Business reporter
Russia took control of the Russian subsidiaries of the yoghurt maker Danone and the Carlsberg brewery.
The units have been placed under an “interim administration” of the state, under a new order signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Moscow introduced rules earlier this year allowing it to seize corporate assets from “unfriendly” countries.
This came after many companies stopped doing business in Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.
Danone and Carlsberg were in the process of selling their Russian operations.
Sunday’s order puts shares of Carlsberg-owned Danone Russia and Baltika Breweries under the control of Rosimushchestvo, Russia’s real estate agency.
France-based Danone, which began the process of selling its Russian business last October, He said it was “Currently investigating the situation.”
The company added that it is “preparing to take all necessary measures to protect its rights as a shareholder in Danone Russia, and the continuation of the company’s operations.”
The Danish brewer also said it had completed an “extensive process” to separate the Russian unit from the rest of the company. Last month, the company signed an agreement to sell Baltika Breweries but has yet to complete the deal.
“After the presidential decree, the prospects for the sale are now highly uncertain,” she added.
In April, Putin signed an order allowing Russia temporary control of foreign assets, in response to actions by the United States and other countries that Russia said were “unfriendly and contrary to international law”.
Also in April, it was announced that the Russian subsidiaries of two energy companies – the German Uniper and the Finnish Fortum, were brought under state control.
Danone in Russia is the largest dairy company in the country, with about 8,000 employees.
It is estimated that the sale of the business would result in a €1 billion ($1.1 billion; £860 million) loss for Danone.
Meanwhile, Carlsberg’s Baltika produces some of Russia’s most popular beer brands and employs 8,400 employees across eight breweries, according to Carlsberg’s website.
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