Heineken has finally completed its withdrawal from the Russian market, but it has paid a high price.

The brewer announced Friday that it has completed the sale of seven of its breweries in the country to Arnest Group for about $1, less than the retail price of one of its beers.

The token deal will cost the company $324 million, but it wants some corporate goodwill. Heineken’s Dutch parent company said it had been trying to leave the country since March 2022, when Western sanctions were imposed over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The slow pace of exits has made Heineken a target for criticism.

“We have now completed our exit from Russia,” said Heineken CEO and chairman Dolf van den Brink. in a statement. “Recent developments point to the significant challenges facing large manufacturing companies exiting Russia. While it has taken much longer than we had hoped, this deal safeguards the livelihoods of our employees and allows us to leave in a responsible manner this country.”

The sale will protect the company’s 1,800 former employees in Russia, as Arnest Group, which specializes in cosmetics and packaging, has guaranteed their employment for the next three years.

Heineken, which was pulled from Russia last year, said production of its Amstel brand in Russia was expected to be phased out within six months.

The sale will not affect the company’s financial guidance.

While many major brands have withdrawn from the Russian market, some baijiu brands have stayed. Bacardi, for example, imported $169 million worth of rum, Gray Goose vodka and other spirits in the 12 months ended June 30, and the company plans to hire more in the market. Davide Campari-Milano, maker of wild turkey bourbon and Appleton Estate rum, has also continued to import products into the country. Tea and coffee maker JDE Peets also remained in Russia.

Another brewer, Carlsberg, had hoped to sell its Russian operations, but the government took over operations there.

Subscribe to Well Adjusted, the newsletter from the Fortune Well team full of simple strategies to work smarter and live better. Sign up today.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *