Putin Seizes Western Assets in Russia: A List of Major Companies Affected

Written by Henrik Rothen

May.21 - 2024 1:10 PM CET

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Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com
Putin escalates asset seizures, targeting major Western companies operating in Russia.

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President Vladimir Putin has ramped up efforts to seize the assets of Western companies operating in Russia, invoking a series of decrees and court orders.

This sweeping move has placed numerous Western enterprises under temporary Russian management, dramatically altering their operational landscape.

AgroTerra: Dutch Investments Seized

In April, Russia confiscated assets of the agricultural group AgroTerra, including those supported by Dutch investment firms.

A decree signed by Putin authorized this move, marking one of the first in a series of asset seizures aimed at Western companies.

Carlsberg's Baltika Breweries Under State Control

The Russian state took control of Carlsberg's local brewer, Baltika Breweries, on July 16.

This action was executed through a decree that placed Baltika under the temporary administration of Rosimushchestvo, Russia's government real estate agency.

Danone's Russian Operations Transferred

Danone's Russian subsidiary, Danone Russia, was seized on July 16, with control transferred to Rosimushchestvo.

Although later removed from temporary administration, Danone managed to divest its Essential Dairy business to Vamin R LLC after securing regulatory approvals.

Financial Giants Hit: Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank

On May 18, a Russian court ordered the seizure of Commerzbank's assets in Moscow, totaling €93.7 million ($101.9 million).

Deutsche Bank also faced similar actions, with securities, real estate, and bank accounts seized up to €238.6 million ($259.4 million).

Norwegian Publisher Amedia's Assets Confiscated

In September, Amedia's former assets were transferred to state control after the Norwegian publisher had left its Russian operations under the stewardship of Nobel laureate Dmitri Muratov in April.

Fortum and UniCredit's Assets Seized

Finnish utility company Fortum saw its Russian subsidiary taken over in April 2023.

The CEO was replaced, and the unit was placed under temporary management.

Similarly, Italian bank UniCredit had its assets, accounts, and properties seized following a lawsuit over an abandoned gas project, affecting a fraction of its Russian unit's assets.

Wintershall Dea's Stakes Handed to New Russian Entities

Wintershall Dea, a joint venture between BASF and Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman's LetterOne, had its stakes in the Yuzhno-Russkoye and Achimov projects transferred to new Russian companies.

These assets were offered for sale to Gazovyye Tehnologii, formalizing the loss of control announced in January 2023.

Fraport's Stake in Pulkovo Airport Reassigned

On December 1, a decree placed St. Petersburg's Pulkovo Airport under the management of a Russian holding company, seizing control from German airport operator Fraport, Qatar's sovereign wealth fund, and other Gulf state investors.

JPMorgan and Other Financial Institutions at Risk

JPMorgan Chase revealed that its Russian assets might be seized following lawsuits in Russian and U.S. courts.

This included an April court order for the seizure of funds from JPMorgan's accounts after Russian state bank VTB sought to recover blocked funds abroad.

Austrian OMV's Oil and Gas Interests Confiscated

The stakes of Austrian oil and gas company OMV in the Yuzhno-Russkoye field and Achimov projects were transferred to newly created Russian companies on December 19.

These assets are set to be sold to Gazovyye Tehnologii and SOGAZ.

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