Scottish & Newcastle has bought Hartwall Capital’s 4% stake in Russian brewery Baltika. The sale resulted from a row that erupted over S&N’s plans to consolidate its Russian businesses. Its joint venture with Carling AS, Baltic Beverages Holding (BBH), has a number of brewery interests there, including a 75% stake in Baltika. When BBH took its amalgamation plan to Baltika minority shareholders, one, Hartwall Capital, voted in favour. This infuriated many of Baltika’s other minority shareholders, most of whom voted against the proposal. The news that Hartwall owner Erik Hartwall was a non-executive board member at S&N caused other minority shareholders to claim that Hartwall was an "affiliated interested party", rendering its "yes" vote illegal under Russian law. The minority shareholder cause is championed by one, Electromir, which is pressing charges against Hartwall, despite the announcement of the sale. BBH said in a statement: "Whilst Hartwall is entirely confident of its legal position, it believes it may be drawn into protracted, spurious and unproductive legal proceedings, and on this basis has decided to sell its stake in Baltika to BBH." The minority shareholders issued their own statement. It said: "The main concern ... has always centred, and will continue to centre, on the supposed benefits of consolidation of BBH's brewery interests. Whatever the court decides, the minority shareholders require greater transparency in the process and methods of consolidation." A ruling on the case is expected shortly.