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Philip Morris Wins 83% Stake In Swedish Match, Goes Ahead With $16bn Takeover

Marlboro maker Philip Morris International (PMI) said on Monday it was going ahead with its $16 billion plan to buy Swedish Match despite winning accept from owners with no more than 82.59% of shares in the Swedish peer.

By Swedish law a bidder can only initiate a compulsory redemption of remaining shares if voluntary acceptance is above 90%.

PMI had said earlier it could drop the bid if acceptance was lower.

"This achievement of a high controlling stake should allow us to harness the strategic potential of the transaction, including anticipated revenue synergies," Jacek Olczak, chief executive officer PMI said in a statement.

Initial Offer 

PMI in May made an offer to buy Swedish Match for 106 crowns per share, valuing the company at $16 billion.

In October it raised the bid to 116 crowns per share after some investors said it was too low.

"We look forward to welcoming Swedish Match's employees and leading oral nicotine portfolio into the PMI family," the US firm said.

Shareholders 

PMI said it believed the ten largest shareholders of the Swedish group had accepted its bid and that the offer to buy shares would be extended until 25 November in the hope of further raising its stake.

"Our objective is to delist the shares of Swedish Match from the stock market after reaching an ownership of more than 90%; we therefore encourage remaining retail and other institutional shareholders to tender in the extended time," PMI said.

News by Reuters, edited by Donna Ahern, Checkout. For more a-brand news, click here. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.

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