Trading in China Huiyuan Juice shares halted

HONG KONG Tue Dec 3, 2013 9:31pm EST

HONG KONG Dec 4 (Reuters) - Trading in the shares and debt securities of juice maker China Huiyuan Juice Group Ltd was halted on Wednesday morning, the company said in a statement.

China's best known juice brand said the suspension was related to "possible inside information". A spokesman declined to provide further details.

Bankers speculated that the halt could be related to an acquisition.

In 2009, China scuttled a planned $2.4 billion takeover of Huiyuan by The Coca-Cola Co, citing the country's anti-monopoly law. Coca-Cola is the world's largest soft-drink maker and the acquisition would have been the largest-ever buyout of a Chinese company by a foreign rival.

Huiyuan is 17.53 pct held by SAIF Partners, one of China's oldest and best-known private equity firms. Shares in the company closed at HK$5.45 on Tuesday and are up about 93 percent this year.