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| 7/10/2009 12:00:00 AM

Philip Morris To Buy Colombia Cigarette Maker For $452M

Jul 10--Philip Morris International Inc. (PM) will buy privately owned Colombian cigarette maker Productora Tabacalera de Colombia for $452 million as it looks to expand in the Latin American market.

he Altria Group Inc. (MO) spinoff's sales are all outside the U.S., where growth potential is stronger. But the cigarette market has been shrinking in Japan, as well as in the European Union, where smoking bans and higher taxes have played a role. The company has continued efforts to expand its reach, including a joint venture in smokeless tobacco with a Swedish company.

The company said Protabaco is the second-largest tobacco company in Colombia, with an estimated volume last year of 6.1 billion cigarettes and a market share of about 32%. Protabaco posted revenue of about $107.6 million last year, and its brands include Mustang Premier and President.

Protabaco has plants three plants in Colombia. They are located in the small city of San Gil in the northeastern province of Santander, Bogota and in the Colombian Caribbean city of Santa Marta.
 
 
Read more here.
 
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