A Russian court has reportedly ruled Baltika Breweries – Carlsberg’s disputed Russian subsidiary – can continue to use Carlsberg brands despite the Danish brewer terminating its licences.
The St. Petersburg and Leningrad Region Arbitration Court upheld a suit filed by Baltika Brewing Company against Carlsberg, invalidating Carlsberg’s “unilateral waivers of licences to produce and sell several brands of beer”, according to local news agency Interfax.
The arbitration case file said: “The claim is satisfied in full.”
It follows the Tuborg brewer’s termination of its brewing contract with Baltika Breweries in October, retracting its rights to produce, market and sell all Carlsberg Group products, including international and regional brands.
A Carlsberg spokesperson told Just Drinks today its next steps regarding Baltika Breweries were still “unclear”.
“We provided a limited run-off period stretching to 1 April 2024, where already existing stock and materials can be used up by Baltika,” they said. “We are continuing to take all possible actions, including legal, to protect our employees, assets and operations.
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“It is unclear what formally will be the next steps in relation to Baltika. As Carlsberg Group, 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 Kremlin seized Carlsberg’s Russian operations in July, placing it under the “temporary management” of government property agency Rosimushchestvo.
Upon terminating its brewing contract with Baltika Breweries, Carlsberg said it refused “to be forced into a deal on unacceptable terms” and saw “no path to a negotiated solution” over its withdrawal from the country.
Last month, Denis Sherstennikov and Anton Rogachevsky, Baltika’s CEO and vice president, were arrested on suspicion of fraud, accused of transferring intellectual property out of the brewery to Carlsberg before it was fully taken over by the Kremlin, according to Reuters.