Coke Bids $2.4B for Chinese Juice Company

Soft-drink giant looks to capitalize on Olympic afterglow
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Sep 3, 2008 10:12 AM CDT
A worker carries a Coca Cola vending machine near the National Olympic Stadium in Beijing.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Buoyed by its highly visible sponsorship role at the Beijing Olympics, Coca-Cola has made a $2.4 billion offer for a Chinese juice and nectar company, the Wall Street Journal reports. The deal would be the second-largest acquisition ever by the company, which has been expanding into non-carbonated beverages in recent years, and the largest controlling purchase of a Chinese company by a foreign bidder.

The deal for China Huiyuan Juice Group, which requires approval of Chinese regulators, gives Coke a chance to expand its share of the fruit-and-vegetable-juice market in China, currently estimated at 9.7%. "The business combination … creates a win-win partnership that combines Coca-Cola's expertise as a global beverage company with Huiyuan's knowledge and understanding of the China beverage market," Huiyuan's chairman said.