Coca-Cola seems closer to Glaceau deal: report

NEW YORK Mon May 21, 2007 3:04pm EDT

Bottles of Glaceau Fruitwater in an undated file photo. Coca-Cola Co. has filed a premerger notification with U.S. regulators about the proposed acquisition of vitamin water maker Glaceau, industry publication Beverage Digest reported on Monday. REUTERS/PRNewsFoto

Bottles of Glaceau Fruitwater in an undated file photo. Coca-Cola Co. has filed a premerger notification with U.S. regulators about the proposed acquisition of vitamin water maker Glaceau, industry publication Beverage Digest reported on Monday.

Credit: Reuters/PRNewsFoto

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Coca-Cola Co. (KO.N) has filed a premerger notification with U.S. regulators about the proposed acquisition of vitamin water maker Glaceau, industry publication Beverage Digest reported on Monday.

Citing "informed sources," Beverage Digest said the world's largest beverage company filed a Hart-Scott-Rodino Act notification with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which is required for proposed deals of significant size, so the FTC and Department of Justice can assess whether the deal is likely to reduce marketplace competition.

A Coca-Cola spokesman declined to comment.

Beverage Digest said a deal, which it heard could be worth about $4 billion, is still likely subject to approval by Coca- Cola's board of directors.

Glaceau, which is 30 percent owned by India's Tata Tea Ltd. TTTE.BO, maker of Tetley Tea, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Late last month, Beverage Digest reported that Coke, which is trying to enhance its portfolio of noncarbonated drinks, was in "serious talks" to acquire all or part of Glaceau, which controls 3.1 percent of the U.S. noncarbonated beverage market.

Glaceau, the No. 2 maker of enhanced water behind PepsiCo Inc.'s (PEP.N) Propel fitness water, sold 77 million cases last year, compared with Propel's 95 million, according to Beverage Digest.

Coke shares were down 64 cents, or 1.2 percent, at $51.99 on the New York Stock Exchange in afternoon trading.

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