The Daily Telegraph

Carlsberg wants to ‘keep options open’ on return to Russia

- By Daniel Woolfson

THE chief executive of Carlsberg has signalled the brewer could one day return to Russia, saying he wants to “keep options open”.

Carlsberg would “like to have the option” to return eventually despite plans to sell all its assets in the country, chief executive Cees ’t Hart said.

Like many Western companies, Carlsberg announced plans to withdraw last March in response to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

However, the company is seeking to insert a buyback clause into any sale agreement, according to the Financial Times.

Mr ’t Hart said: “The background is the responsibi­lity of business leaders to keep options open for the future – then of course we would like to have that option.”

Before announcing its exit last year, Carlsberg employed 8,400 people in the country. Its Russian business turned over revenues of 6.5bn Danish Krone (£777m) in 2021.

Sale talks are progressin­g and Mr ’t Hart said Carlsberg hoped to “leave all the assets in Russia behind by June”.

He added: “We will sign a deal potentiall­y by the end of Q2. We don’t see any option [to return] in the foreseeabl­e future.”

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