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商业 - 消费品

雀巢赢得中国消费者欢心的秘密

Nin-Hai Tseng 2011年07月11日

可口可乐收购中资公司的交易可能已经遭遇滑铁卢,但我们有理由相信,雀巢不会重蹈它的覆辙。

    雀巢(Nestlé)正在商谈收购中国糖果制造商徐福记国际公司(Hsu Fu Chi International Ltd.)。如果交易拍板,这起交易有可能跻身为史上规模最大的外资收购中资公司的案例之一。不过双方的谈判还处于早期阶段,而且尚不清楚这笔交易的目的是要将徐福记囫囵吞下,还是仅仅收购其部分股权。

    不过,现在已经有人在怀疑双方是否能够最终达成交易。媒体报道暗示,这桩交易可能会像可口可乐收购汇源果汁(China Huiyuan Juice Group)的交易一样无疾而终。2009年,中国商务部(the Ministry of Commerce)拒绝了可口可乐收购汇源果汁的申请,理由是可能会催生垄断。而且可口可乐的收购要约也激起了中国民族主义者的强烈反对,他们不想看到一个成功的国产品牌落入外国人手中。

    雀巢是世界上最大的食品公司,因其旗下的哈根达斯(Haagen-Dazs)和雀巢咖啡(Nescafe)等品牌而闻名于世。由于欧美国家经济增长放缓,雀巢也和许多其他西方的大型企业一样,赶赴新兴市场“淘金”。徐福记目前的市值在26亿美元。雀巢收购徐福记,成败都有可能。不过必需得承认,大型收购非常复杂,很少有轻易成功的例子。

    不过中国市场研究集团(China Market Research Group)的常务董事雷小山认为,虽然可口可乐出价24亿美元收购汇源果汁的交易失败了,但是这起交易与雀巢收购徐福记的交易没有可比性。不管是什么原因扼杀了可口可乐的交易,同样的事情都不太可能在雀巢收购徐福记的交易中重演。

    比如雷小山指出,雀巢和徐福记的交易不太可能会受到垄断问题的困扰,因为徐福记在中国糖果市场上的垄断地位比不上汇源果汁对果汁市场的垄断程度。当年可口可乐谋求收购汇源的时候,汇源在中国果汁市场上的份额达到了42%。相比之下,徐福记只占中国糖果市场的5%。不过由于中国糖果市场分化严重,这个比例仍然相当可观,但是中国本土和外国其他的糖果制造商也都表现得很不错。

    在说到雀巢对徐福记的收购意向时,雷小山表示:“我认为它不会受到(可口可乐收购汇源)那样严厉的审查,也不会拉响警报。”

    外界认为,雀巢收购徐福记旨在打入中国日益增长的糖果市场。雀巢公司的总部位于瑞士,该公司正在想方设法增加它在新兴市场上的销量,并且希望在10年之内,将其新兴市场销售额从目前总销量的30%提高到接近50%

    另一方面,徐福记也在努力强化自身品牌,同时也在与其他公司进行接洽。徐福记创立于台湾,主要生产巧克力、糕饼和其他甜点,自从上世纪90年代初开始在中国大陆南方地区运营。

    和可口可乐收购汇源时一样,这起交易也有可能点燃中国民族主义者的怒火,不过这要取决于雀巢与徐福记之间谈判的严重程度。如果雀巢或者其他某家外国公司要收购徐福记的全部股份,这起交易就将跻身为有史以来最大的外资收购中资公司的案例之一,不过这起交易仍然要面临中国监管机构这一关。

    英特华咨询公司(InterChina Consulting)的北美部主任大卫•霍夫曼认为,雀巢对徐福记的收购不大可能引起民族主义者的怒火。英特华咨询公司主要为在中国做生意的企业提供咨询服务。霍夫曼认为,徐福记和汇源果汁是不同的,人们一般并不把徐福记当成一个中国大陆土生土长的大品牌,徐福记和台湾的联系更密切,而且是在新加坡交易上市的。

    雀巢与徐福记的谈判结果如何,现在还有待观察。目前,雀巢仍然在亚洲新兴市场上不断开辟阵地。今年四月,雀巢公司表示计划收购银鹭集团(Yinlu)的多数股份。银鹭是中国最知名的地区性食品企业之一,也是一家家族企业,主要生产椰汁和罐装的八宝粥。雀巢并没有透露收购价格,不过有分析人士指出,这笔交易的收购价格预计在11亿美元左右。这笔交易仍需获得中国监管机构的批准。

    雀巢的确是在四处扩张。雀巢采取了比较聪明的做法,谋求收购相对规模较小的中国企业,而不是去追求那几个家喻户晓的大品牌。这种做法更容易博得中国监管机构的欢心。

    译者:朴成奎

    In what could be one of the biggest foreign takeovers of a Chinese company, Nestlé SA is in talks to buy Chinese candy maker Hsu Fu Chi International Ltd. Discussions are in the early stages and it's unclear whether the deal would include acquisition of the entire company or a share of it.

    And yet, there's already skepticism circling any possible deal. Media reports have hinted that talks could take the path of a deal that went awry involving Coca-Cola (KO) and juice maker China Huiyuan Juice Group. In 2009, China's Ministry of Commerce rejected Coke's bid to acquire Huiyuan on grounds that the Atlanta-based drinks maker would unfairly dominate the market. Coke's bid also spurred a fury of nationalist opposition from Chinese who didn't want to see a successful homegrown brand land in foreign hands.

    Nestlé, the world's biggest food company known for brands such as Haagen-Dazs and Nescafe, is one of many big Western companies that have been looking to increase sales in emerging markets amid slower growth in the U.S. and Europe. The company's interest in Hsu Fu Chi, which is worth around $2.6 billion, could very well go in any direction. And admittedly, large-scale takeovers are complex and rarely easy to pull off.

    But it makes little sense for skeptics to bring the memory of Coke's failed $2.4 billion bid into the picture, says Shaun Rein, managing director of China Market Research Group. Whatever issues killed the Coke deal likely won't happen with Nestlé's bid to buy China's biggest confectioner.

    For one, Rein notes, there likely won't be a monopoly at issue because Hsu Fu Chi's dominance in China's confection market is not as big as Huiyan's control of the fruit juice market. When Coke pursued Huiyuan, the Chinese juice maker controlled about 42% of the country's pure juice market. By contrast, Hsu Fu Chi commands about a 5.5% share of China's confectionary market. That's still a sizable chunk given that the market is very fragmented, but local and foreign players have been doing well.

    "I don't see it getting the same scrutiny and raising the same red flags," Rein says about Nestlé's interest in Hsu Fu Chi.

    The deal has been viewed as a way for Nestlé to tap into China's growing confectionary market. The Switzerland-based company is looking for ways to increase sales in emerging market from about 30% currently to nearly 50% within a decade.

    At the other end, Hsu Fu Chi has been working to strengthen the company's brand and has been in talks with other companies. The Chinese candy maker, which makes chocolates, pastries and other sweets, was founded in Taiwan and has been operating in southern China since the early 1990s.

    Depending on how serious talks with Nestlé gets, negotiations could ignite nationalist outcries just as it did with Coca-Cola's negotiations with Huiyuan. A deal would likely have to pass Chinese regulators if Nestlé or another company acquires all of Hsu Fu Chi, making it one of the biggest deals by a foreign company in China.

    But the chance of Nestlé having to overcome nationalist fervor is unlikely, says David Hoffmann, North America director for InterChina Consulting, which advises companies doing business in China. Unlike Huiyuan, Hsu Fu Chi is not considered a key mainland Chinese brand but one more associated with Taiwan and traded in Singapore.

    It remains to be seen how negotiations will pan out. So far, Nestlé has continued deepening its grab onto the growing Asian market. In April, the company said it planned to acquire a majority stake in one of China's best-known regional food groups, Yinlu, a family-owned company that makes ready-to-drink peanut milk and ready-to-eat canned rice porridge. Nestlé didn't disclose the purchase price, but analysts have estimated it to be $1.1 billion. The deal still needs China's regulatory approval.

    Indeed, Nestlé is reaching far and wide. And it appears going after relatively smaller Chinese firms as opposed to the few big household names could put Nestlé in the favor of Chinese regulators.

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