EU confirms okayed Seita merger with Tabacalera
BRUSSELS, Dec 7 (Reuters) - The European Commission confirmed late on Monday it had cleared the tobacco merger between Seita of France and Spain's Tabacalera saying they would face competition from big multinational companies.
The two companies have a strong position in their home markets for dark tobacco and a near monopoly in wholesale tobacco distribution, the Commission said in a statement after a routine one-month probe.
But internationally the new company, to be called Altadis, will be only the sixth tobacco player with a share of 2.7 percent, it added, far behind world leader Philip Morris (NYSE:MO - news), BAT (quote from Yahoo! UK & Ireland: BATS.L) and its subsidiary Rothmans and Japan Tobacco , which owns R.J. Reynolds.
In the 15-nation European Union Altadis will be the third tobacco company with a 13.6-percent market share, behind Philip Morris and BAT/Rothmans.