Carlsberg has no right to sell the beer brand of its former local partner in some international markets, a Russian court has ruled.
The court has revoked intellectual property rights of Baltika after Moscow seized its local assets.
Moscow took control of Carlsberg’s stake in Baltika in July 2023 and placed it under “temporary management.”
This move prompted the chief executive of the Carlsberg group, Jacob Araup-Anderson, to say its business had been stolen.
Russia took control of the eight Baltika breweries after Carlsberg had agreed to sell the unit to Arnest, a leading Russian manufacturer of metal packaging and aerosols.
Moscow seized control before the sale went through.
At the time of the asset grab, Baltika signed agreements transferring trademark rights to Carlsberg entities abroad.
Taimuraz Bolloev, the newly-appointed Russian company president, was not involved.
Under Moscow's control, Baltika then went to the arbitration court of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region.
They requested that the court invalidate the licence agreement that gave Carlsberg the rights to Baltika products for use in seven countries, including Kazakhstan and Ukraine.
The court satisfied Baltika's claim in full, a decision dated 22 January showed.
Further details were not provided, as the court observed a closed session due to the presence of documents containing trade secrets.
Carlsberg In Russia
The affair highlights the difficulty Western companies face in trying to extract funds from Russia as they abandon assets following Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.
In November, two senior Baltika employees were arrested on suspicion of fraud.
They were accused of transferring some intellectual property rights to Carlsberg illegally as Russia assumed control.
Carlsberg have said its employees were innocent.
Separately, a Russian court ruled in December that Baltika could continue using Carlsberg brands in Russia, even though Carlsberg had revoked Baltika's licences.