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Coca-Cola bids for Huiyuan Juice
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Coca-Cola Co today announced an offer to buy the Hong Kong-listed China Huiyuan Juice Group Ltd for HK$17.9 billion (US$2.3 billion) in cash.

Coca-Cola, the world's largest soft-drink maker, offered to buy Huiyuan, the biggest maker of pure fruit juice juice in China, at HK$12.20 a share and will buy all outstanding convertible bonds of the Chinese company, the Beijing-based Huiyuan Juice said in a statement to Hong Kong's stock exchange today.

That is three times Huiyuan Juice's closing price of HK$4.14 on August 29, before the stock was suspended. The Chinese company has lost about half its market value this year.

Coca-Cola will use its expertise as a global beverage company to develop the Huiyuan brand to address the evolving needs of consumers, the statement said.

There are anticipated synergies that will drive operational efficiencies, particularly in Huiyuan's production experience and in Coca-Cola's distribution and raw material purchasing capabilities, the statement added.

The offer is subject to preconditions relating to Chinese regulatory approval.

(Shanghai Daily September 3, 2008)

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