US: Coca-Cola Co. pulls plug on Huiyuan Juice purchase

By | 18 March 2009

The Coca-Cola Co. has confirmed that it has pulled out of the planned acquisition of China's Huiyuan Juice Group, following the rejection of the transaction by the country's Ministry of Commerce.

The company, which said in September that it was hoping to buy Huiyuan for US$2.4bn, saw its proposal dismissed late yesterday (17 March), by the Ministry of Commerce, which ruled that the transaction would have "an unfavourable impact on competition" in China.

"We are disappointed, but we also respect the MOC's decision," said Muhtar Kent, Coca-Cola's president and CEO, today. "We put a tremendous effort into providing all the relevant materials to the MOC to ensure that they had all the information available and understood the transaction.

Kent also said that Coca-Cola's proposed $2bn investment in its operations in China over the next three years, announced earlier this month, would still go ahead.

"We will also continue our community investments in China," Kent continued. !Whether it is working with Project Hope to help build schools and libraries across China, or working with educators to construct technology and multimedia centres for Chinese schools, or partnering with Government authorities to promote environmental education, or the World Wildlife Fund to help conserve and protect China's precious water resources - we are firmly committed to a sustainable and prosperous future for all of China."

Sectors: Soft drinks, Water

Companies: Coca-Cola Co

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