Coke pulls-off biggest ever acquisition of Chinese firm with $2.4-billion buy of Huiyuan Juice

Atlanta-based US soft drinks giant Coca-Cola Co. yesterday announced that it was acquiring Beijing-based Chinese juice maker Huiyuan Juice for $ 2.4 billion, making it its biggest acquisition in China.

This is also the largest acquisition by a foreign corporation in China.

The deal would value the Chinese juice maker at about three times its market value. Coca-Cola will offer $1.6 per share in Hong Kong-listed Huiyuan, about three times the firm's closing price on Friday.

There are two shareholders besides Huiyuan's parent, China Huiyuan Juice Holdings Co., which owns a 38.5-per cent stake in the company, French food giant Group Danone has a 21-per cent stake, and 6.8 per cent owned is owned by US private equity firm Warburg Pincus & Co. The three shareholders, who collectively own 66 per cent in the company, have accepted the offer.

Group Danone said it had entered into an agreement to tender all its shares China Huiyuan Juice Group Limited to the pre-conditional takeover bid to be launched by the Coca-Cola Company through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Atlantic Industries.

The offers is subject to the usual preconditions relating to Chinese regulatory approvals.