The Coca-Cola (KO) Company Obtains Regulatory Clearance to Buy Soft-Drink Bottler

The Coca-Cola Company (KO) today announced that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and Canadian Competition Bureau have both approved Coca-Cola’s $3.4 billion buyout proposed acquisition of its largest North American bottler Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE), on the condition that Coca-Cola agrees to protect competitive business information of rival Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. (DPS).

Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO, The Coca-Cola Co. said he was “pleased to have received regulatory clearance for the acquisition of CCE’s North American business, noting that “the thoughtful and disciplined planning process for [Coca Cola’s] new North American business structure will enable [the co.] to operate as one strong, aligned business system, with increased operating effectiveness and efficiency.”

The completion of the acquisition remains subject to the receipt of approval by CCE shareowners, who are scheduled to vote on October 1, 2010 at 8:30 AM EDT. The Coca-Cola Company said it anticipates the acquisition to become effective in the days following CCE shareowner approval.

KO gained 11 cents, or 0.19%, to $58.73 at 11:05 E.T. in New York Stock Exchange trading.

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