09-08-2008 14:22

Coca-Cola has agreed to buy China Huiyuan Juice Group. It would be the largest foreign takeover of a company in the Asian country. But the deal is still subject to regulatory approval.

A man walks past a Coca Cola logo painted on a wall in Venezuela. Coca-Cola has moved to further strengthen its global reach by announcing plans to buy Huiyuan Juice Group for 2.4 billion dollars, the US soft drink maker's biggest acquisition in China.(AFP)
A man walks past a Coca Cola logo painted on a wall in
Venezuela. Coca-Cola has moved to further strengthen its
global reach by announcing plans to buy Huiyuan Juice
Group for 2.4 billion dollars, the US soft drink maker's
biggest acquisition in China.(AFP)

Yao Shenhong, the spokesman of Ministry of Commerce, said, "We have not received Coca Cola's application yet. This acquisition is a very big one. So when we receive the application, we will inspect it carefully in accordance with the Anti-Monopoly Law."

Coke's purchase of Huiyuan Juice is the world's biggest soft-drink maker's biggest overseas acquisition yet. China's juice market grew 15 percent last year to 14 billion yuan. Huiyuan leads with more than 10 percent market share, followed closely by Coca-Cola with 9.7 percent.

Coke says it plans to keep the Huiyuan brand if the deal is approved. China's Anti-monopoly Law was enacted in August. It requires foreign acquisitions of Hong Kong-listed Chinese mainland firms to undergo anti-monopoly reviews, if the combined sales of both companies exceed 10 billion yuan globally and 400 million yuan domestically.