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Ivan Savvidis sells off SEKAP to Japan Tobacco

The owner of PAOK told his associates he had to sell it due to the economic crisis

The Greek Co-operative Cigarette Manufacturing Company (SEKAP) which belongs to PAOK owner Ivan Savvidis, has been sold to Japan Tobacco (JT), the latter announced in a statement on Friday.
In a brief statement to his associates, Ivan Savvidis said the reason for selling his share of the company to Japanese JT was the decline in market sales due to the crisis and significant increases in excise duties.

H Japan Tobacco Inc. (JT) today announced that, after long negotiations, the JT Group has agreed to acquire Donskoy Tabak (DT) in order to strengthen its first position in Russia, the world’s third-largest tobacco product market.

Under this agreement, the JT Group will also acquire the majority shares of the Cooperative Tobacco Industry of Greece SA. (SEKAP).

The company’s announcement is as follows:

Japan Tobacco Inc. (JT) (TSE: 2914) announces today that the JT Group has agreed to acquire Donskoy Tabak (DT) companies, reinforcing its No. 1 position in Russia, the third largest tobacco market in the world.
The purchase price for the transaction is estimated at around RUB 90 billion (USD 1.6 billion).
“This acquisition demonstrates our commitment to reinforce our number one position in Russia. For a number of years now this market has been a cornerstone of our Group’s earnings growth. This transaction will increase our market share to approximately 40% and contribute to the Group’s profit immediately, with synergies expected in the following years,” said Mutsuo Iwai, President of the Global Tobacco Business.
DT is the fourth largest tobacco company in Russia with a market share of approximately 7% and has established brands such as Donskoy Tabak, Kiss and Play in the value segment, the largest and growing price segment in the country.
“Throughout 2017 we have restored our market share in Russia, driven by the success of our Global Flagship Brands, Winston and LD. With DT’s value brands complementing our existing product portfolio and its strong salesforce expanding our distribution network, we will strengthen our overall competitiveness in the country,” said Eddy Pirard, JTI’s President and CEO.