Ministry of Commerce Blocks Coca-Cola’s Acquisition of Huiyuan Juice

March 23, 2009
In its first public decision under the PRC’s new Antimonopoly Law, China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) recently blocked the Coca-Cola Company’s proposed US$2.4 billion acquisition of China Huiyuan Juice Group Ltd. Under the Antimonopoly Law, if a proposed merger or acquisition reaches certain thresholds triggering a merger control filing, a prior notification must be filed with MOFCOM, and the transaction may proceed only with MOFCOM’s approval. This update examines the Coca-Cola/Huiyuan decision and its implications for multinational companies contemplating a merger, acquisition or joint venture in China.