Imperial successfully completes Altadis offer

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Britain's Imperial Tobacco on Tuesday declared its agreed EUR 12.6-billion takeover offer for Altadis unconditional.

23 January 2008

MADRID - Britain's Imperial Tobacco on Tuesday declared its agreed EUR 12.6-billion takeover offer for Altadis unconditional after garnering acceptances from shareholders representing 93.5 percent of the share capital of its French-Spanish rival.

Imperial's offer was conditional on receiving a minimum acceptance level of 80 percent of Altadis' capital. The British tobacco firm's offer was at EUR 50 per share.

The acceptance level does not include Altadis shares listed in the Euronext Paris Exchange. In a statement to the Spanish National Securities exchange (CNMV), Imperial said it understands the French-exchange-listed shares account for 3 percent of Altadis' capital.

Imperial said that since the acceptance level was over 90 percent, it plans to exercise the right to buy out minority shareholders who did not tender their shares, a process known as a squeeze-out. Minority shareholders also have the right to sell their outstanding holdings in Altadis at the same price as the public offer.

Once the squeeze-out process is complete, Imperial will delist Altadis's shares from the Spanish and Paris exchanges.

Once the final result of the offer is known, Imperial said it would announce its plans for Altadis' logistics unit Compañia de Distribución Integral Logista. Altadis has a 57.52-percent stake in Logista.

[Copyright EL PAÍS / A. SIM 2008]

Subject: Spanish news

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