19 Mar 2009

China rejects Coca-Cola bid

11:10 am on 19 March 2009

China has rejected a bid by Coca-Cola worth $US2.4 billion for Huiyuan Juice Group - the biggest maker of fruit juice in the country.

The BBC reports the sale would have been the largest takeover of a Chinese company by a foreign rival.

But rival juice makers said the deal would give Coca-Cola too much dominance in the beverage market.

Huiyuan has about a 40% share of the Chinese juice market.

Last year the government introduced tough anti-monopoly laws.

Investors had been waiting for the decision by the Ministry of Commerce on whether the Huiyuan deal could go ahead, as a test of China's attitudes towards overseas investment in the wake of the new legislation.