Rus News Journal

Imperial Tobacco the Fourth can buy Altadis

on size the transnational tobacco company British Imperial Tobacco Group has proposed ex - to the Spanish tobacco holding Altadis about purchase of 100 % of its actions. The sum of offer Imperial - 11,5 mlrd from calculation 45 for the action, the award to market cost - 18 %. Board of directors Altadis intends to consider offer ITG in the nearest some days.
offer Imperial declared yesterday. Imperial it is ready to pay for Altadis in total 11,5 mlrd, or 45 for the action without taking into account 0,5 dividends which Altadis will pay to shareholders on March, 20th. The award to market cost - 18 %. Board of directors Altadis intends to spend an emergency meeting to the nearest some days to consider offer Imperial - it is told in message Altadis. Representatives Altadis have refused detailed comments.

Hearings about sale Altadis in the market have appeared some years ago, among potential buyers besides Imperial were called British American Tobacco and group Altria, owner Philip Morris. Experts assume that Imperial has pushed to active actions preparing merge of two other tobacco corporations. In December, 2006 Japan Tobacco has suggested shareholders Gallaher to redeem 100 % of its actions at the rate of company costs in $14,7 mlrd (+16,4 % to market price), also it has expressed readiness to pay off debts Gallaher in $5,1 billion Transaction already have approved board of directors Gallaher, shareholders and antimonopoly bodies. To close the transaction it is supposed by April, 17th.

Imperial Tobacco Group it is created in 1996. Works in the markets 130 countries of the world. The basic marks - Davidoff, West, Drum, Rizla, Lambert and Butler, Golden Virginia. Capitalisation - $28,8 mlrd, a gain in 2006 - $22,6 billion

Altadis it is formed in 1999 as a result of merge Spanish Tabacalera and French Seita. The basic marks - Gitanes, Gauloises and Fortuna. Also supervises a quarter of the world market of cigars and owns the largest European tobacco distributor Logista. Capitalisation - $15,7 mlrd, a gain in 2006 - $16,9 billion

will allow Imperial and Altadis to strengthen Merge of two companies of a position on the West European market, analyst Dresdner Kleinwort Peter Chernyavsky considers: At Imperial strong positions in Great Britain and Germany, at Altadis - in Spain and France . Experts notice that negotiations on purchase of business Altadis can join also representatives British American Tobacco. Analyst JP Morgan Eric Bljumkvist assumes that as a result of Imperial Tobacco it is necessary to lift the offer to 50 for the action. Much less chances to join in struggle for Altadis at holding Altria, owner Philip Morris.

In the Russian market consolidation Imperial Tobacco and Altadis has begun last year when the companies have agreed about merge merchendajzingovyh divisions. Besides, the last production of the companies are extended some years in all territory of Russia by one distributor - GK the Megacity . If the transaction takes place, the incorporated company will occupy approximately 11 - 12 % of the Russian tobacco market in natural expression and 8 - 9 % - in monetary, the general director of the company " ascertains; Business of the Analyst Andrey Sterlin: In the end of the last year Altadis supervised 5,4 % of the Russian tobacco market in natural expression and 2,7 % - in monetary, Imperial Tobacco - 5,9 % and 5,8 %, accordingly .

MARINA - CHISTJAKOVA, ALEXANDER - DEMCHUK