BELGIUM – World’s largest beer company AB InBev is facing an imparment charge of US$1.1 billion following its decision to exit its Russian joint venture AB InBev Efes.
The maker of Budweiser and Corona beer brands said it plans to sell its non-controlling stake to its JV partner Anadolu Efes adding that active discussions are underway.
Belgium-based AB InBev formed the AB InBev Efes joint venture with its partner Turkish brewer Anadolu Efes in 2018, combining their respective Russian and Ukrainian businesses.
AB InBev which has a 24% stake in Anadolu Efes says it will report a US$1.1 billion impairment charge in its first-quarter results as a repercussion of the sale.
AB InBev said in a statement: “Together with its partner, AB InBev continues to support its employees, their families and the humanitarian relief efforts in Ukraine.
Support for its displaced employees and their families includes counselling, housing and financial support.”
In addition to donating to NGOs and the relief organisation Caritas, AB InBev says that it is working in partnership with them, other companies and local NGOs to provide food, blankets, medical supplies and 3 million cans of emergency drinking water to Ukraine and surrounding refugee relief areas.
AB InBev’s decision to sell its stake in the Russian joint venture comes after similar moves from rivals Carlsberg and Heineken, which have also exited businesses in Russia.
Danish multinational brewer Carlsberg says that it expects its decision to sell its business there to result in a writedown of about 9.5 billion Danish crowns ($1.39 billion).
The company, which has eight breweries and 8,400 employees in Russia, said the writedown did not take into account any external offers for the business and was subject to a “very high degree of volatility and uncertainty”.
In addition, Carlsberg which expects that the sale could take up to 12 months, reported a currency loss adjustment to its Russian business worth 4 billion crowns triggered by a recent depreciation of the Russian rouble.
Dutch rival Heineken which has about 1,800 employees in Russia expects to book related charges of about 400 million euros (US$432.75 million).
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