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VENEZUELA: Coke FEMSA arm ordered to close

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The Venezuelan arm of Latin American Coke bottler Coca-Cola FEMSA has been ordered to close for 48 hours amid a probe into the company's accounts.

Coca-Cola FEMSA de Venezuela said the country's tax authorities had ordered the closure to launch an investigation into its accounting practices.

The bottler, however, insisted that its bottling sites would operate normally. The closure is set to last until tomorrow (9 March).

The company called the order to close "lamentable" and said it has "always fulfilled its fiscal obligations" since it entered Venezuela in 2003.

The investigation is a further setback to Coca-Cola FEMSA's business in Venezuela. Last year, the company's plants in the South American country were blockaded for four days in a dispute over distribution agreements.

Coca-Cola FEMSA accounts for 40% of Coke volumes throughout Latin America. Coke owns a 46% stake in the venture.


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