Tabacalera Nacional was created in the 1950s to meet increasing demand for tobacco in Panama. The business was founded by Carlos and Fernando Eleta, who negotiated with Philip Morris & Co. Ltd., Inc., to manufacture some of their brands in Panama. They had the first license to produce Marlboro in Latin America.
Following the introduction of Marlboro in 1956, Tabacalera Nacional launched the Nacional brand in 1958, and, later, the Mentolados brand. The portfolio was completed with Parliament in 1961 and Benson & Hedges in 1969.
In 1992, PMI acquired all the company’s shares, and, in 2007, Tabacalera Nacional became Philip Morris Panama.
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