Heineken sold the entirety of its Russian operation to the Arnest Group for €1, taking a $325 million loss, according to a company press release.
— The HEINEKEN Company (@HEINEKENCompany) August 25, 2023
“We have now completed our exit from Russia. Recent developments demonstrate the significant challenges faced by large manufacturing companies in exiting Russia,” CEO Dolf van den Brink said in a statement.
The Dutch brewer will sell all of its remaining assets, including seven breweries and 1,800 employees, fulfilling a promise it made in March 2022 to pull out of Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.
Heineken faced criticisms for not pulling out earlier, but claimed they wanted to secure jobs for their Russian employees, which they did in negotiating a three-year employment guarantee with the Arnest Group, per the statement.
“While it took much longer than we had hoped, this transaction secures the livelihoods of our employees and allows us to exit the country in a responsible manner,” van der Brink added.
Heineken, which is part-owned by Bill Gates, said the sale will be “negligible,” adding that “HEINEKEN’S full year 2023 outlook is unchanged from the sale.” (RELATED: Daily Caller Reporter Blocked By Bud Light After Video Release)
Despite taking the massive loss, Heineken says they did receive a commitment from Arnest Group that they will “repay the historical intercompany debt of the Russian business of approximately €100m due to HEINEKEN in instalments.”
Though Heineken is pulling out of Russia, it will maintain the licenses of some smaller brands within the country to “ensure business continuity and secure transaction approval,” according to the statement.