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New M&A review process to be launched

By Wang Xinyuan (Global Times)

09:41, December 28, 2012

The Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), the regulator responsible for review of acquisitions and mergers under China's Anti-Monopoly Law, announced Thursday that it has drafted a simplified review procedure that will benefit applicants by offering a shortened review period.

Under the new procedure, MOFCOM will complete the review in less than a month, compared with the normal procedure that lasts longer than 30 days, Shang Ming, director general of the Anti-Monopoly Bureau under MOFCOM, said at a press conference Thursday.

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) often draw public attention, as they involve global transactions. The ministry is known for blocking Coca Cola's $2.4 billion deal to buy China's largest fruit juice maker Huiyuan Juice Group in 2009.

Applicants must meet certain conditions in order to be eligible for the simplified procedure, one of which is that their deal will lead to a market share of less than 10 percent, according to the draft rule, which will be subject to approval from lawmakers, Shang noted.

"It is expected to be implemented in 2013," Shang said.

The simplified procedure is in response to public concerns that the current review procedure takes too long, Huang Yong, a law professor with the Beijing-based University of International Business and Economics, told the Global Times Thursday.

Huang is a member of the team that drafted China's Anti-Monopoly Law, and a consultant to MOFCOM.

Together with the simplified procedure, another rule regarding conditional approval for M&A is also expected to be released next year under the framework of China's Anti-Monopoly Law, which has been effective since August 2008.

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