CHINA: Huiyuan Juice shares soar on Coca-Cola Co talk
Huiyuan Juice Group's share price has soared following reports that representatives of the group have renewed talks with The Coca-Cola Co about a potential tie-up.
Huiyuan saw its share price rise by as much as 25% on the Hong Kong stock exchange today (24 April), following a report in yesterday's Wall Street Journal that the company has revived negotiations with Coca-Cola.
China's Ministry of Commerce last month cited competition concerns to reject Coca-Cola's $2.4bn buyout bid for Huiyuan, which has a 42% share of the Chinese juice market.
just-drinks understands that direct talks between Coca-Cola and Huiyuan have not taken place. However, a source close to the situation said that neither firm has given up on some form of tie-up, and banking representatives in Hong Kong are believed to be eyeing a new way of bringing them together.
Huiyuan executives took the rare step of publicly criticising the Ministry of Commerce ruling last month.
Zhu Xinli, Huiyuan chairman and president, was also quoted in local media reports as saying that the juice firm has received interest from other suitors since the Ministry's rejection of the Coca-Cola bid.
A Coca-Cola spokesperson declined to comment on whether talks with Huiyuan have been revived, adding that the soft drinks giant does not comment on market speculation.
Reiterating Coca-Cola's statement on its China strategy following the Ministry ruling, he added: "We are now focusing all of our energies and expertise on growing our existing brands and continuing to innovate with new brands, including in the juice segment."
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