Coca-Cola Co. received regulatory approval today to buy a larger stake in Honest Tea Inc., according to a notice from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.
Coca-Cola, the world’s largest soft drink maker, bought 40 percent of Honest Tea in February 2008 and an option to purchase the rest after three years. The regulatory notice means Coca-Cola asked for anti-trust approval to buy a stake worth at least $63.4 million, the filing threshhold.
Bethesda, Maryland-based Honest Tea, which makes organic teas, lemonades and children’s drinks, sold the stake to get capital and access to the world’s largest beverage distribution system.
Scott Williamson, a spokesman for Atlanta-based Coca-Cola, didn’t have an immediate comment. Honest Tea Chief Executive Officer Seth Goldman didn’t return an e-mail and phone call seeking comment.
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