Swedish Match urges shareholders to accept Philip Morris’ $16 billion offer

Oct 27 (Reuters) – Swedish Match AB (SWMA.ST) on Thursday recommended that its shareholders accept Marlboro manufacturer Philip Morris International Inc. (PM.N) raised a $16 billion takeover bid for the tobacco company.

Some Swedish Match shareholders objected to Philip Morris’ latest offer which was increased by more than 9% to 116 Swedish kronor ($10.59) per share, saying the total value of the new offer had changed little from compared to the original offer due to the appreciation of the US currency against the Swedish krona.

Under Swedish law, 90% of Swedish Match shareholders must approve the offer by November 4. Philip Morris said he stands by this acceptance rate.

In May, the company made its first all-cash offer of 106 crowns per share for Stockholm-based Swedish Match, which controls around half of the global market for snus, a Scandinavian moist oral tobacco product, and is also the market leader. market for the nicotine pouch industry. .

Philip Morris has since been under pressure to increase the bid as hedge funds including Elliott Management Corp have increased their stakes in Swedish Match ahead of a softer bid. Read more

Philip Morris aims to expand its presence in the growing market for alternatives to cigarettes and increase the sale of smokeless products to more than half of its turnover by 2025.

($1 = 10.9580 Swedish crowns)

Reporting by Eva Mathews in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli

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