MOSCOW -Russia has taken control of the Russian subsidiaries of yoghurt maker Danone and beer company Carlsberg putting them under the country’s temporary management.

Moscow introduced rules earlier this year allowing it to seize the assets of firms from “unfriendly” countries and the temporary acquisition was made under a new order signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Vladamir Putin introduced legislation to allow the seizure of assets belonging to businesses from companies Russia deemed “unfriendly”.

The order places the shares of Danone Russia and the Carlsberg-owned Baltika Breweries, who were both in the process of selling their Russian operations, under the control of Russian property agency Rosimushchestvo.

According to Danone, the firm had prepared to take all necessary measures to protect its rights as shareholder of Danone Russia, and the continuity of the operations of the business.

On the other hand, Carlsberg said it had not received any official information from the Russian authorities regarding the presidential decree of the consequences for Baltika Breweries.

The Danish brewer added that it had completed an extensive process to separate the Russian unit from the rest of the company.

 “Last month, the company signed an agreement to sell the Breweries but had not yet completed the deal; however, following the presidential decree, the prospects for this sales process are now highly uncertain,” it added.

 “The group is in the process of obtaining more detailed information and will publish any relevant and verified information, including potential financial implications, as soon as possible.”

In April, Mr Putin signed an order allowing Russia to take temporary control of foreign assets, in response to actions by the US and other countries that Russia said were unfriendly and contrary to international law.

During the same time, it was announced that the Russian units of two energy companies Germany’s Uniper and Fortum of Finland, had been brought under state control.

Danone’s Russia operation is the country’s largest dairy company, with around 8,000 employees.

It was estimated that the sale of the business would result in a US$1.1bn hit for Danone.

Meanwhile, Carlsberg subsidiary Baltika produces some of the most recognizable beer brands in Russia, with 8,400 employees across eight plants, according to Carlsberg’s website.

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