Zhu Xinli, the chairman and president of Huiyuan, China’s largest juice brand, can’t be sleeping too well. The failure of Coca-Cola’s US$2.4 billion bid for the company, thanks to official caginess over the loss of a home-grown star to a foreign group, has now been followed by the exiting of one of the company’s major investors. Warburg Pincus, an American private equity firm, and together with France’s Danone one of the keystone investors that paved the way for Huiyuan’s Hong Kong listing in 2007, has abandoned ship, choosing not to swap convertible bonds for an equity stake. There is, reports say, "widespread speculation" as to the company’s future ownership. Speaking of investments, China Investment Corp (CIC) is returning to an old flame – Morgan Stanley, one of the sovereign wealth fund’s first investments – with promises of an additional US$1.22 billion. That should increase CIC’s stake to 9.88%, and is no doubt welcome news after the investment bank’s announcement it needed to raise cash to pay off debts. Of course, CIC isn’t alone in eyeing overseas investment targets; rumors that a state-owned oil firm might be considering the acquisition of Swiss (but Toronto-listed) oil producer Addax Petroleum saw that company’s shares rise 10%. It would be the latest in a series of energy-related outbound investment deals that China is pursuing.
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