CHINA: Coca-Cola, Huiyuan Juice deal "progressing"
Coca-Cola has said that it remains hopeful that its US$2.4bn takeover offer Huiyuan Juice Group will be cleared by Chinese authorities before the end of March 2009.
China's Ministry of Commerce continues to consider the bid under China's new Anti-Monopoly Law, Coca-Cola and Huiyuan said in a joint update this week.
Echoing Coca-Cola comments to just-drinks last month that the regulatory process was on track, they said: "The 200 day time frame for the obtaining of regulatory approval which was originally agreed, remains in place, and expires on the 23rd March, 2009."
The statement comes amid concerns over China's economic nationalism regarding consumer goods companies.
Coca-Cola's bid for Hong Kong-based Huiyuan, China's largest juice group and one of the largest foreign takeover proposals in the country's history, is being viewed as a test case for China's new Anti-Monopoly Law.
The firms said a further announcement would not be made until the regulatory process is complete.
Concerns about a resurgence in Chinese economic nationalism grew last month, following the conditions attached to the government's approval of InBev's takeover of Anheuser-Busch operations in the country.
The Ministry of Commerce said that InBev could not increase Anheuser's 27% stake in the domestic Tsingtao Brewery or its own 28% share of the Zhujiang Brewery. InBev must also steer clear of China Resources Snow, already partly owned by SABMiller, and the Yanjing group.
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