With approx 9,500 employees, Baltika is one of the largest consumer goods companies in Russia. Baltika products are also exported to more than 79 countries globally.
Throughout its history our company has been developing, dynamically buying breweries, building new ones from scratch and actively expanding the network of sales departments. Let's take a look at some of our brewery's key milestones.
Construction began following a design prepared by the Gipropischeprom-2 Institute as one of the breweries in the Leningrad Production Association of Brewing and Non-Alcoholic Industry (Lenpivo).
When construction was completed in 1990, the new state-owned brewery was name Baltika Brewery.
The first batch of 27,000 liter beer was dispatched in November 1990. At this time, the brand name had not been created yet. The beer was produced under the well-known Zhigulevskoe, Rizhskoe, Admiralteyskoe and Prazdnichnoe brands.
The brewery underwent reorganisation
In 1992, the brewery underwent reorganisation and Baltika became part of a joint venture. 28 legal entities and more than 2,000 individuals became the shareholders of Baltika. Baltic Beverages Holding AB (BBH), consisting of the Swedish company Pripps, the Norwegian brewer Ringnes and the Hallwall Group of Finland, invested in Baltika and became the biggest shareholder.
Also in 1992, the Baltika brand is created with the intent of producing beer of the highest European quality using classical technology.
This means plant reconstruction and development, turning Baltika into the first brewery in Russia equipped with the best high-tech European equipment.
Baltika becomes the #1 brand
1996 marks an important year for Baltika. The brand becomes the most popular beer on the market.
Baltika's regional expansion began
Baltika acquired a controlling interest in the Donskoye Pivo factory in Rostov-on-Don and in October 1999, the Tula Brewery also became part of Baltika.
The Samara and Khabarovsky breweries were established.
Baltika Brewery merged with Russian breweries Vena, Pikra, and Yarpivo.
At the time the investments into Donskoye Pivo and Tula were made, investments were made to increase capacity of the new factories. Meanwhile, equipment upgrades of all production sites of the company was ongoing. As a result, in 1999, the construction of an automated finished goods warehouse at the Baltika Brewery in Saint-Petersburg finished. The warehouse itself is unique due to its high automatisation system and the capability to perform unloading of goods onto trucks and railway transport.
The newly merged four breweries took on the name Baltika Breweries.
The merger of the fours breweries was a unique project for Russia from the point of view of its specificity, complexity and due dates. The procedure of merger was performed strictly in the accordance with Russian legislation and in full respect of the interests of all four companies. Due to the clear coordination of actions between Baltika, Vena, Pikra and Yarpivo shareholders, management and employees, as well as the open informational policy, the project was implemented in accordance with the best international corporate practices. Actions aimed at integration production, sales, distribution and administration performed during this period made our company the biggest fast moving consumer goods producer in Russia and one of the biggest brewing companies in the world with a market share of more than 34.7%.
The scale effects influenced the growth of sales volume and profit that increased more than 40% according to the results of the first quarter of 2007 already vs the same period of 2006, i.e. before the merger procedure was finished.
Since 2007 Baltika, Vena, Pikra and Yarpivo companies exist as one entity – Baltika breweries OJSC.
In 2009 there was one production site closed in Saint-Petersburg (ex Vena brewery) due to the surplus capacities in the region.
Baltika becomes part of the international Carlsberg Group
In the 1990s of the 20th century, ВВН implements business development strategy in Russia and takes part in corporatization procedures of some brewing companies (later on they will also become a part of Baltika Breweries). In 1992 BBH becomes a shareholder of Baltika, owning 44% of the shares. The right to get the majority interest could be granted only in case of execution of the announced investment program, which was implemented ahead of schedule – by November 1996. As a result, BBH became the holder of 50.6% of Baltika shares. 13.7% of the shares passed into the ownership of Bossard.
The beginning of 2000 was marked with a change of BBH holders – as a results the assets of holding were equally divided between Danish company Carlsberg Breweries AS (50%) and British company Scottish & Newcastle (50%). Thus in 2001, Baltika started the process of joining international Carlsberg Group, which started to take part in Company governance process via BBH.
In April 2008, Baltika became a part of Carlsberg Group in full, which became possible after Carlsberg bought out the assets of Scottish & Newcastle (S&N). Carlsberg got a possession of S&N share in BBH – major Baltika shareholder – and the assets of S&N in France, Greece, China and Vietnam. At this stage, Carlsberg Group became the holder of 85% of Baltika shares, 15% of shares were left in hands of minority shareholders.
In November 2012, Carlsberg Group bought out the rest of the shares from minority shareholders and became the holder of 100% of shares of Baltika breweries OJSC. To make the corporate governance more handy in 2013 there was made a decision to change the legal form of the company from OJSC to LLC. This step became possible after consolidation of 100% of Company shares into the hands of one owner – Carlsberg Group. Reorganization into the LLC was finished in January 2014.