King of the hill – will Chinese law firms monopolise local competition work?
In July, Nestle announced it had agreed to pay $1.7bn (£1.08bn) to acquire a controlling interest in Chinese candy company Hsu Fu Chi International. The proposed deal would be the largest-ever acquisition in China by a foreign multinational and would help the Vevey, a Switzerland-based food giant, cement its position in the world’s most important growth market. If Nestle is able to pull the deal off, it may just have Susan Ning to thank, above all. Head of the antitrust group and a senior partner at King & Wood, Ning is aiming to guide Nestle around what is likely the biggest obstacle to its deal: China’s three-year-old anti-monopoly law. The last time a large multinational attempted a similar acquisition – Coca-Cola’s $2bn (£1.28bn) bid for China Huiyuan Juice Group in 2008 – the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) shot it down on antitrust review.
Jessica Seah finds that China’s anti-monopoly law is giving the country’s firms a distinct competitive edge
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