By MIRI DUTTAKAR | Reuters| January 27, 2019 11:19:03The world’s largest tobacco company, Philip Morris International, paid $30 million to buy a 24 percent stake in an online cigarette seller in India.
The deal, which has not been disclosed, will give Philip Morris an 11 percent stake.
The company said in a statement that it will invest in the company’s global digital business.
It said it has invested in online cigarette sales in India and will invest $50 million in the first half of 2019.
The company will take over the reins of the online cigarette market in India from rival company NRT India, which is the country’s largest online retailer.NRT’s sales were valued at $2.4 billion in 2019.NTC, which also owns a tobacco brand, said the acquisition will be made in line with a long-term strategy that includes investing in a range of other businesses, including retail, technology and digital.
The transaction will allow the company to continue growing its online cigarette business, NTC Chief Executive John Loughran said in the statement.
The sale comes after the company made a splash last year when it announced it would buy the online e-commerce company eToys, which it later sold to Amazon.
It also bought the tobacco company American Cigarette in a deal worth $1.8 billion in 2016.
The tobacco company is the world’s biggest maker of cigarettes and has a market value of $25.3 billion.
Its sales rose 3.3 percent in the year through December.
The purchase of the Indian tobacco company will allow Philip Morris to invest more in the business, Loughrand said.