CHINA: Coca-Cola Co, Huiyuan ruling could face delay

By | 17 March 2009

China's Ministry of Commerce has said that it has the option to delay a decision on Coca-Cola Co's US$2.4bn bid for Huiyuan Juice Group by a further 60 days.

Speaking to journalists in China yesterday, a Ministry spokesperson was cited as saying that a decision may be announced by Friday (20 March), but that the Ministry retains the option of delaying a ruling for another 60 days.

Coca-Cola and Huiyuan have said in a joint statement that they have set a deadline of 23 March to get regulatory approval for the deal.

If successful, Coca-Cola's bid will become one of the largest foreign takeovers in China's history. Hong Kong-based Huiyuan has a 40% share of the Chinese juice market.

Analysts are viewing the bid as a test case for China's new Anti-Monopoly Law. The Ministry's decision could have implications for China's policy on foreign takeovers, while also sending a message about China's willingness to engage in a global business environment.

Sectors: Soft drinks, Water

Companies: Coca-Cola Co

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