British American Tobacco (BAT) said on April 12 that it has reached an agreement with Bulgaria’s former state tobacco monopoly Bulgartabac to buy three cigarette brands and Bulgartabac’s distribution subsidiary.
The brands – Victory, Eva Slim and GD – would boost BAT’s market share in Bulgaria to 40 per cent, up from the 12 per cent it currently holds, and the acquisition of the distribution company would expand BAT’s retail reach in Bulgaria and the Western Balkans area.
BAT estimated the deal to be worth more than 100 million euro and said it expected the acquisition to be finalised by end-June, pending the required regulatory approvals.
Reports in Bulgarian media recalled that BAT was among the reported bidders for Bulgartabac when the company was privatised in 2011, but pulled out citing commercial and strategic reasons. BAT was also one of the bidders to purchase the company in the aborted tender in 2005.