FBI officials quietly approached executives at Coca-Cola Co. on March 15, 2009, with some startling news.

Hackers had broken into the company’s computer systems and were pilfering sensitive files about its attempted $2.4 billion acquisition of China Huiyuan Juice Group, according to three people familiar with the situation and an internal company document detailing the cyber intrusion. The Huiyuan deal, which collapsed three days later, would have been the largest foreign takeover of a Chinese company at the time.

 

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