Russia took control of shares belonging to French agribusiness Danone and Danish brewer Carlsberg, according to a decree published on Sunday.
The decree signed by President Vladimir Putin says the Russian state would “temporarily” manage shares belonging to Danone Russia and to Baltika, which is owned by Carlsberg.
Danone said it was investigating the situation and “preparing to take all necessary measures to protect its rights as shareholder of Danone Russia, and the continuity of the operations of the business in the interest of all stakeholders, in particular its employees”.
Baltika is a leading brewing company in Russia, with approximately 30 per cent of the market share.
Carlsberg announced in March that it would sell the entirety of its activities in Russia, where it employed 8,400 people.
Last month the multinational brewer said it had found an unnamed buyer for the business, more than a year after announcing its exit from the market due to the conflict in Ukraine.
“Following the presidential decree, the prospects for this sales process are now highly uncertain,” Carlsberg said in a statement.
“The Carlsberg Group has not received any official information from the Russian Authorities regarding the presidential decree or the consequences for Baltika Breweries.”
One of few multinationals to have remained in Russia since the Ukraine offensive began, Danone said in October that it planned to withdraw from most of its business.
Danone then said it would give up the dairy and plant-based business in Russia, retaining only its infant nutrition branch.
The move could result in a write-off of up to one billion euros, it said.
A large number of major Western companies have pulled out of Russia since Moscow launched its Ukraine offensive on February 24, 2022.