Shanghai: US soft drinks giant Coca-Cola said on Wednesday it planned to buy Chinese juice maker Huiyuan Juice Group in a $2.4-billion deal that would be its biggest acquisition in China.
Coca-Cola will offer $1.6 US dollars per share in Hong Kong-listed Huiyuan, it said in a statement, adding that three shareholders holding a total of 66% in the company had accepted the offer.
“It is the largest proposed transaction in China and the second largest for the Coca-Cola Co.,” the company said.
Coca-Cola said it intended for Huiyuan, one of China’s best-known juice brands, to carry on its business, but that it would later review its operations.
“Huiyuan is a long-established and successful juice brand in China and is highly complementary to the Coca-Cola China business,” said Muhtar Kent, CEO of Coca-Cola Co., in a statement.
He said the deal was “a unique opportunity to strengthen our business in China, especially since the juice segment is so dynamic and fast-growing in China.”
According to Coca-Cola’s Chinese website, its investment in China since 1979 totals $1.25 billion.