A-Brands

Philip Morris To De-List Swedish Match After Raising Stake To 93%

By Dayeeta Das
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Philip Morris International (PMI) has said that it now owns a big enough stake in Swedish Match to initiate a compulsory redemption of remaining shares in its Swedish peer and would take it off the stock market.

Marlboro maker PMI in May launched a $16 billion takeover bid for the Swedish tobacco and nicotine products company.

"We are delighted to have obtained over 90% ownership of Swedish Match, allowing us to initiate a minority redemption process to acquire the remaining shares outstanding and request the delisting of the company from the stock market,” PMI chief executive Jacek Olczak said in a statement.

Buying Swedish Match, with its popular wet snuff 'snus' products and tobacco-free nicotine 'ZYN' pouches, will aid PMI in its stated ambition to move away from health-harming cigarettes and eventually become a smoke-free company.

'A Major Milestone'

"This transaction marks a major milestone in accelerating our shared objective of a smoke-free future," Olczak said.

PMI's initial offer of SEK 106 ($10.21) per share met stiff resistance from activist investor Elliott Management and other shareholders and the bid was later raised to SEK 116.

Elliott and the rest of the top 10 shareholders all decided to tender their shares after the bid was raised and PMI had secured over 83% approval by the end of the initial offer period in early November.

Shortly afterwards, the remaining opponents of the deal, who included Framtiden, with a roughly 1% stake, and Bronte Capital, which owned less than 1%, also tendered their shares.

Swedish Match was not immediately available for comment.

News by Reuters, edited by by ESM – your source for the latest A-Brands news. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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