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Coca-Cola plans to take over Russia's Multon company, a major juice producer
Some reports suggest the deal with go through in the next few weeks, Vedomosti reports. A Federal Anti-Trust Service official confirmed the deal. He said his agency was examining a Coca-Cola bid to buy Multon's controlling stock. Analysts believe Multon worth between $500 million and $650 million. They also say transnational companies will become much more interested in the Russian market after the deal. "The market is ready for strategic investors," Nidan-group executive director Olga Yeremeyeva says. "Every producer understands this will happen soon." David Yakobashvili, who co-owns the Wimm-Bill-Dann juice company, is not afraid of the extra competition. "We already have fairly fierce competition," he says. Ralf Vendland, chief of the Eckes-Granini juice company's Russian subsidiary, agrees with Mr. Yakobashvili. "I have not heard of any major Coca-Cola successes on the juice market outside the US, with the exception of the Czech Republic," he says. Multon is based in St. Petersburg and produces the Rich, Nico and Dobry (Kind) brands. It owns two factories with an annual capacity of 740 million liters of juice. In October 2004, Multon controlled 25.6% of the Russian juice market. Company turnover is $330 million
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