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Drinks

Russia Revokes Carlsberg's Right To Sell Baltika Beer Abroad

By Reuters
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Russia Revokes Carlsberg's Right To Sell Baltika Beer Abroad

Carlsberg has no right to sell the beer brand of its former local partner in some international markets, a Russian court has ruled, revoking intellectual property rights of the Danish brewer after Moscow seized its local assets.

Moscow took control of Carlsberg's stake in Baltika, Russia's largest brewer, in July and placed it under 'temporary management', prompting Carlsberg Group CEO Jacob Aarup-Andersen to say its business had been stolen.

At the time of the asset grab, Baltika signed agreements transferring trademark rights to Carlsberg entities abroad, without the involvement of the newly-appointed company president Taimuraz Bolloev, according to a report by the Vedomosti newspaper.

Licence Agreement

Under Moscow's control, Baltika then asked the arbitration court of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region to declare as invalid the licence agreement that gave Carlsberg the rights to Baltika products for use in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, Tajikistan, Mongolia and Turkmenistan.

Baltika's first vice president, Alexander Dedegkaev, appealed to the Kremlin for help, Vedomosti reported in December.

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The court satisfied Baltika's claim in full, a decision dated 22 January showed. Further details were not provided, as the court observed a closed session due to the presence of documents containing trade secrets.

Carlsberg declined to comment. Baltika did not immediately respond.

Carlsberg had agreed to sell its Russian business less than a month before the seizure. The affair highlights the difficulty Western companies face in trying to extract funds from Russia as they abandon assets following Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

Separately, a Russian court ruled in December that Baltika could continue using Carlsberg brands in Russia, even though Carlsberg had revoked Baltika's licences.

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