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Drinks

Brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev To Sell Its Interest In Russia

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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Brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev To Sell Its Interest In Russia

Anheuser-Busch InBev has announced plans to sell its stake in Russian joint-venture AB InBev Efes, which will result in a $1.1 billion (€1.02 billion) impairment charge in its first quarter results.

The announcement by the world's largest brewer, based in Belgium, comes after similar moves from its rivals Carlsberg and Heineken.

Suspended Sales

In March, AB InBev suspended sales of its Budweiser brand in Russia and had forfeited financial benefit from its Russian JV, following the lead of other major brewers in reaction to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow dubs a "special operation".

"AB InBev today announced that it will sell its non-controlling interest in the AB InBev Efes joint venture and is in active discussions with its partner, Turkish brewer Anadolu Efes to acquire this interest," AB InBev said in a statement.

AB InBev has a 24% stake in Anadolu Efes, part of its 2016 purchase of its next largest rival SABMiller. They formed the AB InBev Efes joint venture in 2018, combining their respective Russian and Ukrainian businesses.

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The joint venture has 11 breweries in Russia, employing 3,500 people and three in Ukraine, employing 1,800.

Major Players In Russia

Carlsberg is the leading Western player in Russia, followed by AB InBev. The Danish brewer said on Thursday its decision to sell its business in Russia would result in a writedown of about $1.39 billion (€1.29 billion)

Dutch rival Heineken has said its Russia exit would amount to related charges of about €400 million.

AB InBev also said it had introduced Chernigivske, Ukraine's most popular beer brand, to many countries, including Britain, Germany, Belgium, France and the Netherlands.

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"All profits from the sale of Chernigivske will go to support humanitarian relief efforts and AB InBev is guaranteeing at least five million dollars of support from this humanitarian initiative," it said.

News by Reuters, additional reporting by ESM – your source for the latest drinks news. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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