Ivan Savvidis has divested his interests from the tobacco industry, after selling Donskoy Tabak to Japanese firm Japan Tobacco, which means that SEKAP also comes into Japanese hands.
Japan Tobacco Inc. (JT) announced that "after lengthy negotiations, the JT Group agreed to acquire Donskoy Tabak (DT) in order to strengthen the company's first position in Russia, the world's third largest tobacco product market."
The acquisition price is $ 1.6 billion (about 1.28 billion euros).
Under this agreement, the JT Group will also acquire the majority shares of the Cooperative Tobacco Industry of Greece SA. (SEKAP).
"This acquisition demonstrates our commitment to strengthening our market position in Russia. For several years this market has been a cornerstone of our Group's profits growth. This transaction will increase our market share to around 40% and will contribute directly to the Group's profits through synergies expected in the coming years," commented Mutsuo Iwai, President of the Group's Global Tobacco Business.
In Greece, JTI, a member of the Japan Tobacco Group, has been selling its products since the 1980s and currently has a market share of 22.7%. JTI Hellas also has the responsibility of the markets of Cyprus and Malta and employs more than 100 employees.
The company contributes around 1.5% of the country's total tax revenues (2017: € 640 million from EPC & VAT) and supports the local economy by buying 25% of total domestic tobacco production.
The acquisition of SEKAP demonstrates JTI's commitment to Greece and strengthens the company's second position in the market, with an additional 3% market share.
The transaction is expected to be completed in the beginning of the third quarter of 2018.