Coca-Cola to invest another $2 billion in China
Coca-Cola Co (KO.N), the world's largest soft drinks maker, said on Friday it will invest $2 billion in new plant and distribution infrastructure in the next three years in China, reported Reuters.
The company would also speed up development to ensure products suit local taste, it said in a statement.
The $2 billion investment comes in addition to the $2.4 billion already committed to Huiyuan Juice Group (1886.HK), a company spokesman said.
Asset prices have come down amid the global financial crisis, which triggered concerns that the Coca-Cola's takeover bid for Huiyuan may not go through. Huiyuan's share price, which edged up 0.66 percent on Friday, was traded a quarter below Coca-Cola's offer of HK$12.2 per share.
But Huiyuan Juice, the country's top juice maker, said earlier this week it was not aware of any changes in Coca-Cola's bid for the company and said the U.S. company would be obliged to make the offer if pre-conditions were met.
If the bid is successful, it would be the largest acquisition of a Chinese firm by a foreign rival. The deal is pending Chinese government approval.
"Our commitment and confidence in China never wavers," Muhtar Kent, president and CEO of Coca-Cola, said in the statement.
The company's largest innovation and technology center in Asia was opened in Shanghai on Friday. The $90 million center was part of a three-year investment plan in China, it added.