Philip Morris in talks to buy smaller rival Swedish Match

The company logo is seen near the Philip Morris Izhora factory outside Saint Petersburg, Russia April 9, 2022. REUTERS/REUTERS PHOTOGRAPHER

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May 9 (Reuters) – Philip Morris International Inc (PM.N) is in talks to buy rival Swedish Match AB (SWMA.ST), the companies said on Monday, as the Marlboro maker seeks to expand its smoke-free options in a rising environment. worldwide monitoring of the sale of traditional cigarettes.

Talks between the companies were ongoing, but it was uncertain whether an offer would be made, Philip Morris said in a separate statement. Shares of the company rose 1.6% to $100.53.

Swedish Match had a market cap of 120.92 billion Swedish krona ($12.04 billion), as of the last close, according to Refinitiv data. Philip Morris had a market capitalization of $153.37 billion.

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Last year, Philip Morris bought asthma inhaler maker Vectura for $1.44 billion as part of its long-term plan to develop smoke-free products and become a “healthcare” company. broader health and well-being”. Read more

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration released a long-awaited proposal in April to ban flavored cigars and menthol cigarettes, which account for more than a third of the industry’s overall market share in the United States. Read more

Swedish Match manufactures snus, a wet snuff which is banned in all European Union countries except Sweden. The company has expanded into the US cigar market in recent years and hopes to see similar success there with snus, which faces competition in its home market.

Talks between the Marlboro maker and Swedish Match could lead to a deal as early as this week, The Wall Street Journal first reported on Monday, citing people familiar with the matter.

In March, Swedish Match shelved plans to spin off and list its U.S. cigar business.

($1 = 10.0472 Swedish kronor)

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Reporting by Praveen Paramasivam in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva and Shinjini Ganguli

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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