The History of Baltika Breweries
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The History of Baltika Breweries

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The Baltika factory in St Petersburg was constructed in accordance with a design prepared by the Gipropishcheprom-2 Institute. It was planned as one of the breweries within Lenpivo, the Leningrad Association of the Beer Brewing and Nonalcoholic Beverages Industry.

Construction of the new factory began in 1978. The state enterprise Baltika Brewery was formed in 1990 right after completion of the construction work.

The first shipment of just 27,000 litres of beer was brought to market in November, 1990. The Baltika brand did not yet exist. Instead the plant produced beer under the widespread trademarks of the time: Zhigulevskoye, Rizhskoye, Admiralteiskoye and Prazdnichnoye.

In1992 the enterprise embarked on privatisation. During this process the Company was reorganised into an Open Joint-Stock Company. The shareholders of Baltika at the time were 28 legal entities and more than 2,000 private individuals.
At about this time, the idea arose to create a proprietary "Baltika" brand. From the very beginning, Baltika beer was exclusively conceived as a beer of the very highest European quality brewed according to classical technology. In order to fulfill this task, the factory management developed its first investment programme for the reconstruction and development of the enterprise.

Following the implementation of the reconstruction programme, Baltika became the first brewery in Russia equipped with the most modern European equipment. The Company began its regional expansion in 1997, when it created its own holding company and purchased a controlling interest in the Donskoye Pivo factory in Rostov-on-Don. In October 2000 it took control of the Tula brewery. Baltika specialists developed an investment programme directed at increasing the capacity of the purchased factories and replacing outdated equipment. Moreover, beginning in 1998 Baltika created a network of sales subdivisions in the regions.
In this way the former name "Baltika Brewery" ceased to describe the scope of the company. Therefore, in 1998 the shareholders approved the decision of the Board of Directors to rename the enterprise, and its full name became "Baltika Breweries."

In 1999 construction was completed on an automated warehouse for finished goods situated on the territory of the Baltika factory in St Petersburg. It was unique in the high degree of automation and in the possibility it provided of unloading goods onto either truck or railway transport.

November 30, 2000 marked the opening of Soufflet-St Petersburg, Russia’s largest malt. This was jointly built by Baltika Breweries and the French-based Groupe Soufflet. The French partners invested around $35 million in the project and received 70% of the shares in the plant, while Baltika assumed the remaining expenses and took 30% of the shares in the project. The production capacity of the Soufflet-St Petersburg Malt Plant is 105,000 tonnes of malt per year.
In August 2004, the most modern malt plant in Russia and neighboring countries opened at the Baltika factory in Tula. The high quality malt obtained at the plant from superior varieties of barley (such as Scarlett, Prestige and Barque) fully meets the standards of leading European producers.

The year 2006 was a turning point in the history of Baltika Breweries. On March 7 shareholders of Baltika Breweries voted by an overwhelming majority to approve the Company’s merger with the brewery concerns Vena, Pikra and Yarpivo.

The merger of the companies was a unique project for Russia from the standpoint of the specifics, complexity and deadlines. The procedure was conducted in strict conformity with Russian legislation and with full respect for the interests of shareholders in all four companies. Thanks to precise coordination of the actions of shareholders, management and all employees of Baltika, Vena, Pikra and Yarpivo, as well as to a transparent information policy, the project was implemented in strict accordance with international corporate law.

In 2007, the companies Baltika, Vena, Pikra and Yarpivo exist as a unified legal entity.
Since April 2008 Baltika is a part of Carlsberg Group which owns 89.01% of the Company's capital.

Description of Baltika Breweries today:

  • the leader on the Russian beer market with a market share around 38,2%
  • the largest FMCG company in Russia
  • 11 breweries located in Russia — in St. Petersburg, Yaroslavl, Tula, Voronezh, Rostov-on-Don, Samara, Chelyabinsk, Krasnoyarsk, Khabarovsk and Novosibirsk; as well as 2 own malt-houses. Production capacity in Russia is 5,2 million hectolitres of beer per month
  • 1 brewery in Azerbaijan
  • more than 30 brands of beer (including Baltika, Arsenalnoye, Nevskoye, Yarpivo, Tuborg, Carlsberg, Kronenbourg 1664, and a number of regional brands), as well and 11 non-beer brands
  • available in 98% of the points of sale around Russia
  • the Baltika brand is one of the three most valuable brands in Russia and it is the №1 beer in Europe in terms of sales
  • export to more than 70 countries around the world, including the countries of Western Europe, North America and the Near East region

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