COFCO and China Foods’s Acquisition of Bottling Operations from Coca-Cola and Swire and in its Sale Through Auction of Bottling Operations in China


Kirkland & Ellis is acting for COFCO Coca-Cola Beverages Limited (a subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed China Foods Limited (HKSE: 506) and a subsidiary of state-owned COFCO Corporation) in its RMB 3.4 billion acquisition of equity interests in the bottling operations from The Coca-Cola Company and Swire Beverages Holdings Limited, and in its sale through auction of its equity interests in the bottling operations in China at an aggregate reserve price of RMB2.1 billion.

The tripartite definitive agreement for the acquisition was signed on November 17, 2016, which aims to reshape Coca-Cola’s bottling operations in China. Closing of the deal will take place after necessary regulatory approvals are obtained and will result in a divide of the Coca-Cola’s bottling system in China between the two franchise partners – COFCO and Swire, each having larger bottling operations in China. China is Coca-Cola’s third-largest market by volume. After closing, the Coca-Cola beverages bottling group of COFCO will reach approximately 50 percent of the population in China.

The Kirkland team is led by Hong Kong-based corporate partners Nicholas Norris (Picture) and Joey Chau.

Involved fees earner: Nicholas Norris – Kirkland & Ellis; Joey Chau – Kirkland & Ellis;

Law Firms: Kirkland & Ellis;

Clients: China Foods Limited; COFCO Coca-Cola Beverages Limited;