Carlsberg shares 'heartbreak' as Russian staff arrested

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Illegal takeover: Carlsberg brands fraud accusation against staff in Russia as fake (Credit: Getty/Rockard)
Illegal takeover: Carlsberg brands fraud accusation against staff in Russia as fake (Credit: Getty/Rockard)

Related tags Beer Legal Russia

Carlsberg has shared its “heartbreak” after two members of staff at its Russian brewery were arrested on suspicion on fraud, branding the allegations against them as “fake”.

According to reports, Denis Sherstennikov and Anton Rogachevsky, bosses at Carlsberg's Russian subsidiary Baltika Breweries, were detained last week after being accused of fraudulent activity.

Earlier this month the Danish brewer, known for producing brands such as Kronenbourg and Somersby, announced it had cut ties with its Russian arm after what it described as an “illegal takeover” by the country’s Government.

A spokesperson from Carlsberg said: “We are heartbroken by the news of the arrest of two Baltika employees yesterday in Russia along with allegations against several others.

Innocent employees  

“The safety of our employees, including of course in Russia, has always been our main priority.

“It is appalling the efforts of the Russian state to justify their illegal takeover of our business in Russia has now evolved into targeting innocent employees.

“The allegations reported in Russian media are fake. Up until the introduction of external management by the Russian state, Baltika has acted in accordance with the law and the policies guiding all companies in the Carlsberg Group.”

In July this year Russia’s Government temporarily transferred the management​ of Baltika Breweries to its federal agency for state property management, after the brewer announced the conditional sale of the breweries in June.

As stated in Carlsberg’s latest trading update​, the firm declared it would not be “forced into a deal on unacceptable terms to justify the illegitimate takeover” of its business in Russia.

Difficult circumstances 

Moreover, in October, Carlsberg​ stated it did not see a “viable path to a negotiated solution” for exiting Russia.

The brewer subsequently informed Baltika Breweries of the termination of all licence agreements enabling the sites to produce, market and sell Carlsberg Group’s products, with a limited run-off period until 1 April 2024 to use up existing stock and materials.

Also in the trading update, the business said it would “continue to take all possible actions, including legal, to protect employees, assets and operations” but that future development of the sites “remain unclear”.

The spokesperson added: “We will of course do what we can to help the employees under these difficult circumstances.”

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