Swedish Match AB [publ] and Philip Morris International [NYSE/Euronext Paris: PM] (PMI) today announced that they have entered into an agreement to establish an exclusive joint venture company to commercialize Swedish Snus and other smokefree tobacco products worldwide, outside of Scandinavia and the United States.
The joint venture will utilize the strong combination of Swedish Match's product development and manufacturing expertise in the smokefree category and PMI's extensive sales and distribution infrastructure to develop business opportunities worldwide. Under the agreement, each company will own a 50% stake and will license their respective trademarks and intellectual property to the joint venture.
"PMI is the ideal strategic partner for Swedish Match in the smokefree category. This agreement provides us with the opportunity to bring our quality products to consumers across a broader geography," said Lars Dahlgren, Swedish Match President and CEO. "The smokefree category has demonstrated substantial growth in Sweden and Norway over a number of years and we believe that smokefree tobacco products, and especially Swedish Snus, have potential outside of their current markets."
"We are delighted to join forces with Swedish Match and are confident that this exclusive partnership will over time generate strong results for the benefit of our respective shareholders," said Louis Camilleri, Chairman and CEO of PMI.
Snus has been recognized by many in the scientific and public health community to be significantly less harmful than cigarette smoking. Both companies believe that there is a role for Snus to play in tobacco harm reduction.
The joint venture will be based in Stockholm and the board of directors will consist of six members, with three nominated by each company.
About the companies:
Swedish Match is a global Group with a broad offering of market-leading brands in the smokefree tobacco, cigar, pipe tobacco and lighter and match product categories. The Group's global operations generated sales of 13,061 million SEK for the twelve month period ending September 30, 2008. Swedish Match shares are listed on the OMX Nordic Exchange in Stockholm (SWMA).
Philip Morris International (PMI) [NYSE/Euronext Paris: PM] 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. The Company held an estimated 15.6% share of the international cigarette market outside of the United States in 2007.
SOURCE: Philip Morris International
Media: Henrik Brehmer, + 46 8 658 0452
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Philip Morris International
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