months after closing its $1.9-billion buyout of Commonwealth
Brands, which enabled it to expand into the US market,
Europe''s second-biggest cigarette maker, the UK-based
Imperial Tobacco Group Plc, today announced its decision
to acquire its Franco-Spanish rival Altadis, for €50
in cash per share.
offer is an improvement from its previous proposal of
€45 and €47 a share, rejected by Altadis, and
29-per cent higher than Altadis'' share price on the day
prior to Imperial''s offer in March, this year, and values
the transaction at €16.2 billion ($22.4 billion /
Rs93,036.6 crore), including debt..
price also matches a rival offer from Europe''s second-largest
leveraged buyout firm, London-based CVC Capital Partners.
said it would back the Imperial offer in the absence of
a higher offer from CVC. Imperial plans to finance this
takeover, the European tobacco industry''s largest, by
issuing new shares worth £5.4 billion.
the takeover, Imperial, that owns the Davidoff brand will
gain the Gitanes and Gauloises brand of cigarettes that
has achieved near-iconic status, and some of the world''s
best-selling cigars like Montecristo and Don Diego, and
strengthen the British company''s position as the world''s
No.4 cigarette maker.
Spanish company also owns the largest distributors of
tobacco in its domestic market, Italy and Morocco, which
imperial will get after the takeover.
by smoking bans in Western Europe that have reduced consumption,
cigarette makers are cutting costs through consolidation
of rivals and closing tobacco factories.
Tobacco expects the acquisition to result in cost savings
of about €300 million annually by the end of the
second year and expects combining production, purchasing,
sales and marketing expenses to drop by about €470
acquisition, the UK company will invite Antonio Vazquez,
chief executive officer, Altadis, as CEO of Imperial Tobacco''s
cigar and logistics businesses.
December 2006, Japan Tobacco Inc. agreed to pay £7.5
billion for Gallaher Group Plc.
was formed in 1999 with the merger of the former French
and Spanish tobacco monopolies Seita and Tabacalera have
historical origins. While Tabacalera, the former Spanish
company, traces its roots to 1636, France''s Seita was
created by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1810.
has Citigroup Inc., Lehman Brothers and Morgan Stanley
as its advisors, Altadis has hired Merrill Lynch &
Co., Credit Suisse Group, J P Morgan Chase & Co. and