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China's ministry looks into Nestle and Yum

(China Daily)

13:51, August 26, 2011

BEIJING, Aug. 26 (Xinhuanet) -- The Anti-monopoly Bureau of the Ministry of Commerce is looking into Nestle SA's takeover of Chinese candy maker, Hsu Fu Chi International Ltd, and Yum Brands Inc's acquisition of Chinese hotpot chain, Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot.

The ministry's spokesman, Shen Danyang, said on Wednesday that the ministry will publicly release the investigation results if the acquisitions are denied or approved with restrictions. If the cases are given unconditional approval the ministry will only inform the reporting party.

Yum announced on May 13 plans to acquire Little Sheep with an acquisition premium of 30 percent in cash. Once the acquisition is complete, Little Sheep will be delisted from the Hong Kong stock exchange.

The Mongolian hotpot chain was established in Baotou of North China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region in 1999. It was listed in Hong Kong in 2008. According to its annual report of 2010, it operates 179 self-owned restaurants and has 274 franchisees on the Chinese mainland.

Nestle announced on July 11 that it will purchase 60 percent of Hsu Fu Chin for $1.7 billion. The Guangdong-based company is China's biggest candy producer.

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