New York: Global soft drink giant Coca-Cola has made a pre-merger filing with the US anti-trust regulators regarding a possible acquisition of energy drink maker Glaceau, in which India’s Tata Group holds a 30% sake, media reports said here.
Coca-Cola has filed a pre-merger Hart-Scott-Rodino Act (HSR) notification with the Federal Trade Commission, trade publication Beverage Digest reported.
The filing is necessary for deals of significant size under anti-trust regulatory framework, which seeks to prevent merger and acquisitions that could reduce competition, lead to higher prices, lower quality of goods or services, or decreases innovation.
Citing unnamed sources in its special edition published on 21 May, the magazine said that the HSR filing triggers a review of any possible antitrust implications of the proposed deal.
It could mean several things ranging from Coke having an agreement to acquire Glaceau to Coke having a non-binding letter of intent for such a deal, the report said.
The report quoted sources as saying that the FTC only begins its review process when the major deal points are agreed upon, at least in principle, but a deal could be and is likely, still subject to Coca-Cola Co board approval.
While it was not known when Coke filed the HSR notification with the FTC, a review process normally takes 30 days. However, it could be shorter or longer in certain cases.
Glaceau, in which Tata Tea had acquired a 30% stake for $677 million (Rs2,747 crore) in August last year, was reported to be on Coke’s takeover radar earlier last month. When contacted, a Tata Tea spokesperson in India said: “We do not wish to comment on speculations.”