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After wave of criticism, Heineken assures that plans to leave Russian market were not abandoned

Wednesday, 22 February 2023, 14:46

After sharp criticism in the media over the company allegedly breaking its promise to leave the Russian Federation, the Dutch brewing concern Heineken assured that it has not given up on the sale of its business in Russia, but the process is stalled by the search for a suitable buyer.

This was mentioned in the statement of the company.

Earlier, the Dutch mass media questioned the fact that the concern would fulfil its promise to withdraw from the Russian market, which they had made in March 2022.


"We are shocked and saddened by what continues to happen in Ukraine. The strength and resilience of the Ukrainian people is impressive, despite the horrors that continue to occur in the country. With the sombre anniversary of the war in Ukraine approaching, it is quite understandable that the attention of the media turns to the role of companies that lead its activities in Russia.

Unfortunately, some of the messages about the company's position are misleading, and we feel it's necessary to explain the decisions we have made, the steps we have taken, and our ongoing commitment to finding a buyer for our business in Russia.

We are very concerned about recent media reports that falsely claim that ‘Heineken has broken its promise to withdraw from Russia.’ This is categorically untrue and misleading," the company stated.


Heineken assures that "they are working hard to transfer the business to a viable buyer in very difficult conditions."

"We expect that this will lead to significant financial losses for the company, amounting to around 300 million euros. Meanwhile, our local colleagues at Heineken Russia are doing everything possible to preserve the business after the complete delisting of the Heineken brand to avoid nationalisation and ensure that their livelihoods are not threatened.

We would like to clarify that there is no exchange of funds between Heineken and our local business in Russia, and we do not receive any dividends, corporate fees or royalties (for any of the brands)," the company added.

They added that they plan to close the business sale operation in the first half of 2023.

"At the end of March 2022, we decided to leave Russia. We became the first global brewing company to do so.

At the time, we were very aware that the exit process needed to be approached very carefully, with the safety and well-being of our employees in mind.

We also faced — and continue to face today — the very real risk that if we cease our operations, the Russian government may take action against our employees or decide to nationalise our business. Many other companies with significant investments and large numbers of employees in the country have expressed similar concerns.

To minimise these risks, we have come to the conclusion that we must continue to operate on a reduced basis during the transition period while we attempt to transfer our business to a new owner in full compliance with the laws," the company summarised.


The Dutch beer concern Heineken announced the termination of beer exports to the Russian Federation, as well as new investments in the country.

In March, Heineken N.V. announced the decision to leave the Russian Federation; the business will be transferred to a new owner.

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