Coke China Deal
Coke to acquire Chinese multi-grain drinks maker Xiamen Culiangwang for $400mReuters

Coca-Cola has agreed to buy Chinese beverage maker Xiamen Culiangwang Beverage Technology for about $400m (£267.6m, €370.2m) including debt, chasing growth in a nation with the fastest-growing middle class the world over.

The deal will help Coke acquire a foothold in the fast growing multi-grain drinks category.

Headquartered in Xiamen, Fujian Province, Xiamen Culiangwang's top-selling products include green bean, red bean and walnut flavours of plant-based protein drinks sold under the brand China Green Culiangwang.

The Chinese firm is owned by Hong Kong-listed China Culiangwang Beverages Holdings.

The deal is subject to Chinese antitrust approvals.

The deal marks Coke's first takeover in China since the country's antitrust regulator blocked its bid to buy fruit juice maker Huiyuan in 2010.

Coke said in a 17 April statement: "...The proposed acquisition is in line with Coca-Cola China's strategy to continue providing a diverse range of beverage products to Chinese consumers with plant-based protein drinks representing a growing beverage category in China.

"An application will be submitted to the relevant government authorities for review."

The beverage business earned a net profit after tax of 193m yuan ($31m) for the year ending April 2014.

It had assets of HK$1.7bn ($219m) as of end October 2014, Reuters reported.