Coca-Cola Co won approval from the United States and Canada to buy the North American operations of its largest bottler on the condition that it safeguards rival Dr Pepper Snapple Group's confidential business information.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission and Canadian Competition Bureau both approved the deal, the world's largest soft drink maker said on Monday. The next step would be for shareholders of the bottler, Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc, to approve the deal in a vote scheduled for Oct 1.
Stifel Nicolaus analyst Mark Swartzberg said he expects the deal to close as soon as next week.
Coke announced the deal in February, just as archrival PepsiCo Inc was closing a similar deal of its own. At that time, the FTC reached a similar decision for PepsiCo regarding Dr Pepper's business information.
The North American bottlers of Coca-Cola and PepsiCo bottle and distribute some Dr Pepper Snapple soft drinks, and both companies renegotiated deals with Dr Pepper to continue doing so. They also agreed to restrict certain employees' access to confidential competitive information about Dr Pepper brands.
Coca-Cola Enterprises shares were up 38 cents, or 1.3 percent, at $30.58 on the New York Stock Exchange, where Coca-Cola was up 11 cents at $58.73.