Coca-Cola Co. is in the market for one of Russia's biggest juice makers, according to local press reports. Vedomosti business daily said today (25 February) that the drinks giant is looking to take control of over a quarter of Russia's juice market through the acquisition of Multon.

The newspaper quotes sources close to the matter as saying that Coke has nearly completed talks with Multon to buy it outright in the next few weeks. Analysts estimate the acquisition to be worth up to US$600m.

Earlier this week, Coke's chief executive, Neville Isdell, said that the company was looking to add water and juice to its portfolio in emerging markets and was looking for acquisitions in Russia, Brazil and China.

Vedomosti quoted a source in Russia's Federal Anti-Monopoly Agency as confirming it had received Coca-Cola's request to buy a controlling stake in Multon. "We do not see any reason why we shouldn't approve it," the source was quoted as saying.

Multon was formed in St Petersburg in 1995 and has an annual production capacity of around 740m litres. The juice maker's turnover last year reached US$330m, Vedomosti said.