Blog: Olly WehringCoca-Cola shows China the money

Olly Wehring | 9 March 2009

Perhaps we are getting cynical at just-drinks, or perhaps the world really does work in the deviously calculating ways that we imagine.

Late last week, Coca-Cola Co. announced that it is to invest an extra US$2bn in China over the next three years.

Announcing the move at the opening of the company's all-singing, all-dancing innovation and technology centre in Shanghai, Coca-Cola CEO and president Muhtar Kent said that the group's confidence and commitment in China "never wavers".

Coincidentally, China's Ministry of Commerce is thought to be nearing the end of its review of Coca-Cola's $2.4bn bid for Huiyuan Juice Group. Hong Kong-based Huiyuan is China's largest juice firm and its takeover would be one of the biggest foreign acquisitions ever made in the country.

Unsurprisingly, therefore, the bid is being treated as a test case for China's new Anti-Monopoly Law.

The final deadline for a regulatory decision is 23 March.

Interesting, then, that Coca-Cola should choose to underline its unswerving commitment to China at this time, and despite fears that the country will be hit harder by the economic downturn than the financial number crunchers of this world originally predicted.


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