Spanish tobacco maker agrees Imperial takeover

18th July 2007, Comments 0 comments

17 July 2007, LONDON - The board of Spanish tobacco maker Altadis SA agreed to be taken over by Britain's Imperial Tobacco Group PLC in a deal which values Altadis at EUR 16.2 billion (US$22.3 billion), the British company said Wednesday.

17 July 2007

LONDON - The board of Spanish tobacco maker Altadis SA agreed to be taken over by Britain's Imperial Tobacco Group PLC in a deal which values Altadis at EUR 16.2 billion (US$22.3 billion), the British company said Wednesday.

Altadis's board recommended the sale for EUR 50 (US$68.90) a share, the company said in a statement. The enterprise value of EUR 16.2 billion factors in Altadis debt which Imperial would acquire.

"Imperial Tobacco and Altadis are a great strategic fit, which will consolidate our position as the world's fourth largest international tobacco company," said Gareth Davis, chief executive officer of Imperial Tobacco.

The price is the same as that offered by private equity firms CVC Capital Partners and PAI Partners when they entered the bidding in early May. Those firms could still come back with a higher offer.

Altadis, the manufacturer of Gauloises, Gitanes and Ducados cigarette brands, had rejected previous offers from Imperial, saying they undervalued the company.

Imperial first approached Altadis on March 15 with a nonbinding bid of EUR 45 a share, then returned with a higher bid of EUR 47 on April 10 but was rebuffed again.

Altadis shares rose 20 cents to 48.10 euros Tuesday. Imperial shares rose a 0.1 percent to 2,203 pence (EUR 32.63; US44.96) on the London Stock Exchange.

[Copyright AP with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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