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Activist investor Elliott Management Corp. has decided to back Marlboro-maker Philip Morris International’s PM-N US$16-billion offer for Swedish Match AB, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.

Elliott has tendered its shares in the Swedish target, the FT said, bringing PMI closer to the 90-per-cent threshold required for forced redemption of remaining minority stakeholders.

PMI’s offer had received more than 80-per-cent shareholder acceptance at the latest count on Friday and more could be processed on Monday, the FT reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.

The deadline for shareholders to tender shares expired on Friday.

U.S. investor Elliott, PMI and Swedish Match declined to comment.

Elliott has been building its stake in Swedish Match for months, reaching more than 10 per cent in October. Bloomberg News reported in July that Elliott was building a stake but was opposed to a PMI deal at the original offer of 106 Swedish crowns (US$9.73) a share.

PMI launched its bid for the maker of tobacco and oral nicotine products in May before raising the offer to 116 crowns (US$10.58) last month after Swedish Match shares consistently traded above the original bid price.

United States-based PMI does not currently trade in its home market, but Swedish Match has been expanding fast in America.

Swedish Match controls about half the world’s market for snus – a moist, smoke-free snuff – but one of its fastest-growing products is its tobacco-free “ZYN” nicotine pouches.

This content appears as provided to The Globe by the originating wire service. It has not been edited by Globe staff.

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