🍺 How to buy Heineken for 86p
In today’s email:
3M’s $6bn blunder
Spy on some animals
Rep us on your campus
How hot is your hometown?
Canada has beef with Meta
The cheapest beer in the world
Your thoughts on criminal sentencing
Subway’s getting munched by private equity
… and more!
EDITOR’S RAMBLE 🗣
So, as we’re approaching the new academic year, I'm thinking of trialing a few campus ambassadors for LittleLaw.
If you like LittleLaw and go to one of the UK unis I've listed below, fill out this form (it'll be a paid role).
I’m focusing on a few unis at first to see how it goes, but if things go well, I’ll expand it wider.
If you're interested, fill out this quick form.
LAST WEEK’S POLL 📊
In last week’s newsletter, I asked if you thought criminals should be forced to attend their sentencing hearings.
Here are the results - it was an interesting one! 👇️
🤔 Should criminals be compelled to attend their sentencing hearings?
🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩 Yes (50)
🟨⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️ No (16)
⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️ Other (write in!) (4)
Most of you seem to think criminals should attend their sentencing hearing in person.
Basically, keeping in line with the ‘remote work’ world we live in, it seems that a video call might be the best solution!
Here’s what some of you had to say…
“Achieving justice must be complemented by a public display of justice for the broader public, and the victims. This acts as a deterrence. The effective and ideal model of justice in modern democracies.”
“Criminals should be compelled to attend their sentencing hearings to face the real-life consequences of their actions. They should see and hear the pain their actions caused to victims/their families.”
"Requiring a defendant to personally attend sentencing wouldn't achieve anything other than spectacle. More hardened criminals, generally just do not care about the victim.”
“I think the judge should be able to make an on-the-day enhancement to a sentence based on attendance — but again, where the offences are serious and long sentences are expected, what impact will that have?"
➖ Other (write in!):
“During trial, alleged criminals have something to lose through misbehaviour. Having been sentenced, there is much less to dissuade them from compromising what is supposed to be a solemn restoration of order. Doing this in person lends them a platform. Video link seems a better alternative.“
FEATURED REPORT 📰
🍺 How to buy Heineken for 86p
What’s going on here?
Heineken, the Dutch beer brewer, sold its Russian operations to Arnest Group, a Russian company, for €1 — or 86p (which is a €300 million loss).
It’s had to do this because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine 18 months ago.
What’s the sale got to do with the war?
Following the Russia-Ukraine war, most companies reconsidered their presence in Russia — many left for ethical reasons or just to avoid the operational headache of running a business in a conflict zone.
A bunch of global law firms left Russia last year for similar reasons — more than 1,000 global companies are said to have withdrawn or voluntarily cut back operations in Russia so far.
(Although, not everyone’s left — BT Group, the UK telecoms company, and Lacoste, the upmarket French sportswear brand are still present in Russia)
Why did this take so long?
In March last year, Heineken said it was going to leave Russia.
So, why did it take another 16 months until they actually did?
The company was criticised for this delay.
Heineken says it's because it needed a solution to look after its local employees in Russia. Arnest (the buyer) seems to offer that.
What are the main legal points of the deal?
📄 Asset sale: This deal will have been structured as an asset sale (as opposed to a share sale).
This means Arnest would be buying specific business assets of Heineken, rather than the ownership of the Heineken company.
The main assets were its seven breweries in Russia.
(By the way, if you want a newsletter focused on the differences between share and asset sales, drop me an email to let me know)
🫂 Keeping staff safe: One of Heineken’s main concerns were its staff in Russia — it wanted to do right by them. So the parties agreed a commitment for Arnest to keep all of Heineken’s 1,800 local staff on for at least three years.
This would probably have been included as a condition in the asset purchase agreement (this is the main contract for the transfer of assets between parties).
🛑 Regulatory hurdles: Russia’s put in place a bunch of rules that Heineken would have had to comply with when selling in Russia.
Here are a few of the rules:
Foreign companies have to get approval from Russia's finance ministry before selling any assets.
Foreign companies have to provide a 50% discount on their businesses after a government-selected consultant has valued them.
Companies selling in Russia must contribute 10% of their business' sale price to the Russian budget.
Why did Heineken lose so much money on this deal?
The sale price was €1 to show that Heineken’s primary objective for this wasn’t to recover value but just to get out of Russia (while ensuring the welfare of its employees).
The regulatory hurdles (see the section above) also mean that:
any assets will have to be sold for a discount anyway (cutting the price), and
a proportion of the proceeds must be given to the Russian government (which would be a bad look for Heineken).
It’s an issue hitting other companies too — last year, McDonald's said it expected to lose more than $1bn from moving out of Russia.
What’s the big picture effect?
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine — and the global reaction to it — is an example of how geopolitical factors can impact business decisions.
Right now, while foreign players move out, the Russian market will become filled with more home-made products.
Long term? Who knows. Sadly, it doesn’t look like the Russian war in Ukraine is ending soon.
TOGETHER WITH PATENT DROP* 🤝
Intellectual property lawyers – you need to look into the future.
Patents give you a peek into the next move of innovative companies — and as an aspiring IP lawyer, you’ll want that information!
How will Apple use hardware to monitor health and predict your next flu?
How is Uber Eats using AI to predict your lunch order?
Patent Drop has the answers.
This twice-weekly newsletter has a team of investigative journalists working 24/7 to uncover under-the-radar trends and deliver expert analysis on recently filed patents.
* This is sponsored content
A BIT OF FUN 😄
just some pro bone-o legal advice 🐶
IN OTHER NEWS 🗞
🥪 After over 50 years of family ownership, the Subway sandwich chain is being bought by private equity firm Roark Capital. The exact transaction amount hasn't been disclosed, but it's estimated around $9.6bn. Roark Capital isn't new to the food game; they've got a range of brands, including Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins.
📢 3M, the manufacturing giant, has agreed to a $6bn settlement after it was accused of supplying faulty combat earplugs to the US military. These earplugs allegedly caused hearing damage and tinnitus for many service members. After the settlement news, 3M's stock prices actually rose, hinting at some relief among investors as the payouts were predicted to be around $5bn more.
🛍️ Shein, the online fashion juggernaut, is taking cues from Amazon's playbook — securing a wholesale partnership with Forever 21 and laying the foundation to become an Amazon-esque marketplace. This move sees Shein buying into Sparc, a joint venture involving Forever 21 — and aims to introduce initiatives like in-store returns in Forever 21 outlets. Shein's also venturing into electronics and home goods.
🔥 As Canada faces its most severe wildfire season to date, new laws cause a lack of reliable news on Meta’s platforms. Meta (the company behind Facebook and Instagram) has blocked news on its platforms in Canada in response to the country’s new Online News Act — the Act demands tech giants pay news publishers for their content. This means that many Canadians can't access or post news from major outlets on Facebook or Instagram — which could mean more misinformation.
AROUND THE WEB 🌐
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