The FTC has announced that a Coca-Cola Co. purchase of Honest Tea would meet antitrust approval, according to the news agency Reuters.
With a 40 percent stake in the organic tea company already in place, the filing with the FTC would seem to indicate that Coke is ready to follow its scheduled option to purchase the rest of the company.
Founder Seth Goldman has said that he plans to remain with Honest Tea after the purchase is completed, although some of the company’s longtime marketing and sales executives have left in recent months.
The purchase has been looming as the first major acquisition by Coke’s Venturing and Emerging Brands unit, which has also invested in coconut water company ZICO and has begun marketing several imported products, as well.
“The FTC’s early termination of the HSR waiting period is certainly good news and we hope to share additional information at a later date,” Coke spokesman Scott Williamson told Reuters.