Cigarette manufacturing giant Philip Morris International on Tuesday said it had made a major move into the Middle East and North African market in a partnership with a UAE-based company.
Philip Morris International (PMI) said it had acquired a 25 percent share in Algeria's Société des Tabacs Algéro-Emiratie's (STAEM).
This arrangement was made following its acquisition of a 49 percent share in the UAE-based Arab Investors-TA (AITA) company, which is the joint owner of the Algerian tobacco company alongside the Algerian government.
Its investment in the latter's acquisition was valued at $625m, PMI said in a statement.
"This development came into effect as part of PMI's aims to both strengthen its presence in the Middle Eastern and North African markets and to expand the scope of its operations," the statement added.
PMI also said legal cigarette manufacturers in the Middle East and particularly in the Arab World are facing several challenges, aggravated by a lack of law enforcement in regards to illicit cigarette trade.
It added that its partnership with the UAE's AITA was a "significant development", and aims to bring about additional business opportunities in certain Middle Eastern markets, which have the potential for further expansion.
Philip Morris International currently sells products in approximately 180 countries, including Jordan. It is the leading international tobacco company, with seven of the world’s top 15 international brands, including Marlboro, the number one cigarette brand worldwide.For all the latest banking and finance news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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