“China Blocks Coke Bid For Juice Maker”
In an article in the March 18, 2009 issue of The New York Times, Booz & Company Partner Andrew Cainey (Greater China) said a decision by Chinese authorities to block the Coca-Cola Company’s attempt to buy one of China’s major beverage makers is a crucial sign of Beijing’s approach to allowing foreign companies to buy Chinese assets, rather than just taking stakes in them. “This deal is certainly being looked at closely,” said Cainey. “It will shine some light on what sort of behavior it takes for a foreign company to make a deal of this sort in China.” Coca-Cola’s bid for the China Huiyuan Juice Company, announced last September, would have valued Huiyuan at $2.4 billion, making it the largest takeover by a foreign company of a mainland Chinese firm. It was also the first transaction to be assessed in China under tighter takeover rules that came into effect last year. The Commerce Ministry cited competitive concerns and the potential for Coca-Cola to gain a dominant position in the juice market as the reason for its decision.