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Scandinavian Tobacco cleared to merge with Swedish match

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Sept 22 NZPA - Scandinavian Tobacco Group has been given the green light by the Commerce Commission to merge its New Zealand cigar, pipe tobacco and accessories businesses with that of Swedish Match.

The clearance is subject to the merged entity divesting the Willem cigar brand.

Commerce Commission chairman Mark Berry said the commission was satisfied that the proposed acquisition would not have the effect, or likely effect, of substantially lessening competition in the national markets for the import and supply of cigars and pipe tobacco.

While the merger would give rise to a significant aggregation of market share in respect of cigars, the divestment of the Willem brand to an independent party would be sufficient to remedy the loss of competition the cigar market.

The new company will be 51 percent owned by Scandinavian Tobacco Group and 49 percent owned by Swedish Match.

NZPA WGT pjg gt

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