August 31, 2004

Philip Morris International competes for the acquisition of Coltabaco

Philip Morris International announced that one of its affiliates had entered into an agreement with a group of principal shareholders to acquire a controlling interest, representing at least 51% of the shares outstanding, in the Colombian company Compañía Colombiana de Tabaco S.A. (“Coltabaco”) at a maximum price per share of US $4.88. Philip Morris has agreed to purchase the principal shareholders’ shares in a public tender offer for up to 100% of Coltabaco’s stock, representing approximately US $310 million.

Coltabaco was established in 1919 and is the largest tobacco company in Colombia and the largest independent tobacco company in Latin America. Coltabaco manufactures and markets leading cigarette brands, including Boston, Green, Royal and Derby, and holds an estimated 48% share of the 20 billion unit Colombian market. Colombia is the fourth largest market for cigarettes in Latin America.

"I am extremely pleased with today’s agreement that opens the prospect of Coltabaco becoming part of the PMI family. We have high regard for the excellent reputation of the company and its employees and an appreciation of its Colombian heritage. The acquisition of a company with the standing and tradition of Coltabaco is an important development for PMI, not only in Colombia but in Latin America as a whole. It will allow us to further grow Coltabaco’s strong brand portfolio of local brands, to realize the full potential of Marlboro and our other leading international trademarks and benefit from synergies with our existing businesses in the region", said Mirek Zielinski, President of Philip Morris Latin America and Canada Region.

Completion of the acquisition is conditional upon regulatory approval, including the Colombian competition authority, the Colombian stock exchange and final due diligence.

"We look forward to working together with the management and employees of Coltabaco for strong business growth and to becoming a valued member of the community in Medellin and Colombia", noted Zielinski.

For more information

Please call the Philip Morris International press office on +41 (0)21 618 4500 or send an email to

About philip morris international inc.

PMI is the world’s leading international tobacco company, with six ot the world’s top 15 international brands and products sold in more than 180 markets. In addition to the manufacture and sale of cigarettes, including Marlboro, the number one global cigarette brand, and other tobacco products, PMI is engaged in the developement and commercialization of Reduced-Risk Products (RRPs). RRPs is the term PMI uses to refer to products with the potential to reduce individual risk and population harm in comparison to smoking cigarettes. Through multidisciplinary capabalities in product development, state-of-the-art facilities, and indusrty-leading scientific substantiation, PMI aims to provide an RRP portfolio that meets a broad spectrum of adult smoker preferences and rigorous regulatory requirements.

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