Philip Morris International (PMI) (NYSE:PM) announced today that it has reached an agreement with Imperial Tobacco Group (Imperial) to acquire certain brands in the Other Tobacco Products (OTP) category. The agreement transfers to PMI, Imperial’s rights to the Interval fine-cut tobacco trademark worldwide and either transfers or licenses other select OTP trademarks currently sold in several countries across the European Union.
As part of its acquisition of Altadis, Imperial was required by the European Commission to divest itself of certain OTP brands. In 2007, the acquired brands accounted for an approximate 2% share of the total fine-cut category in PMI’s EU Region and Interval, a strong French heritage brand with a high quality blend, was the leading fine-cut brand in the French market with a 14.8% share of the category. The deal is valued at 254 million euros.
“We look forward to further developing these quality brands and building on our already strong presence in the growing OTP segment in the region,” said Paolo Degola, President, EU Region for PMI. “This expanded brand portfolio will allow PMI to enhance its position in this profitable segment in the EU and, in particular in France.”
The transaction is subject to approval by the European Commission and certain local regulatory agencies and is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2008.
Other brands included in the agreement are the fine-cut brands Bergerac, Santoya and Wervicq (France), Van Nelle (Italy and Canary Islands) and Picadura (Spain) and the pipe tobacco brands Bergerac (France) and Kilta (Finland).
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About Philip Morris International
Philip Morris International is the leading international tobacco company, with seven of the world’s top 15 brands including Marlboro, the number one cigarette brand worldwide. PMI has more than 75,000 employees and its products are sold in over 160 countries. In 2007, the Company held a 15.6% share of the international cigarette market outside of the United States. For more information, see www.philipmorrisinternational.com