Putin halts seizure of Danone’s Russian business

President Vladimir Putin halted the seizure of the local Russian subsidiary of French yogurt maker Danone SA.

The presidential order, placed on the government portal, reverses a decision made under a July decree enabling the transfer of assets to the temporary management of a Russian government unit.

Last month the Financial Times reported that Danone plans to sell its Russian business to dairy company Vamin Tatarstan, owned by investor Mintimer Mingazov. Mingazov is part of the management team linked to Ramzan Kadyrov’s nephew, Yakub Zakriev.

Last July Russia seized control of the local subsidiaries of Danone and Denmark’s Carlsberg A/S under the Russian decree.

Putin signed a decree in April 2023 allowing for temporary state control over the assets of companies or individuals from unfriendly states — which include the US and its allies — in response to similar moves, or the threat of them, by those countries.

Danone said it had been informed of the decision, but wouldn’t comment further. “Since the announcement, our focus was to ensure the safety of our people while protecting Danone’s assets and rights,” the company said.

© 2024 Bloomberg

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