🍔 Burger King Or Burger Czar?
As Western companies like Apple and Coca Cola shutter their Russian operations left and right in protest of the war in Ukraine, one major brand has stayed open. 800 Burger King restaurants have refused to halt operations in the country as requested by Restaurant Brands International (RBI), which owns the chain.
According to Axios, David Shear, president of RBI, said in a statement that the company "contacted the main operator of the business and demanded the suspension of Burger King restaurant operations in Russia. They have refused to do so".
As a result, RBI has severed all ties with the Russian operation (including operational and supply chain support) and is in the process of divesting its ownership stake in the joint venture it has with the local entities running the 800 restaurants in the country.
The Looming Threat of Nationalization
Nothing yet suggests Burger King's operations in Russia will be nationalized, yet Russian President Vladimir Putin has "endorsed the proposed seizure of Western assets" in the face of so many corporations leaving the country, writes VOA News. In a response to Putin's threat, the White House vowed to ratchet up economic sanctions against Russia even higher should the Kremlin begin nationalizing Western assets.
The physical war in Ukraine hasn't yet spilled over into Europe or beyond, but the economic punches (especially from the West) over this conflict have been severe. If Russia makes good on its threat to begin nationalizing Western assets, the conflict could escalate in unintended ways too.