PMI Takes 83% Share of Swedish Match

Company says move will create a ‘global smoke-free champion’
PMI and Swedish Match logos
PMI and Swedish Match/Image

NEW YORK and RICHMOND, Va. — Philip Morris International (PMI) completed its offer to buy Swedish Match, becoming the owner of nearly 83% of the company’s shares.

The Marlboro cigarette maker said in October its revised $16 billion offer retained a 90% acceptance condition; however, on Monday PMI announced the offer was accepted.  

“We are pleased that 82.59% of Swedish Match shareholders, including—we believe—the top 10 shareholders, have tendered their shares at the best and final price of SEK 116 per share. This achievement of a high controlling stake should allow us to harness the strategic potential of the transaction, including anticipated revenue synergies,” said Jacek Olczak, CEO of PMI.

PMI also extended its now unconditional offer until Nov. 25. Olczak said PMI’s objective is to take the company private after reaching ownership of more than 90%.

“We look forward to welcoming Swedish Match’s employees and leading oral nicotine portfolio into the PMI family to create a global smoke-free champion, notably bringing IQOS and Zyn together in both the U.S. and international markets,” Olczak said. “We will be working together to create value as we accelerate towards our shared vision of a smoke-free future.”

Swedish Match did not immediately respond to CSP’s request for comment.

PMI offered to buy the Richmond, Va.-based company—which sells products like Zyn nicotine pouches, General snus,  Longhorn moist snuff, Game and White Owl cigars and more—in May for $16 billion, in a move that PMI said would help the tobacco company transition to a smokeless portfolio.

Swedish Match has already pursued the vision of a world without cigarettes, and delivered strong results, Olczak has previously said. Stockholm-based Swedish Match, which has U.S. headquarters in Richmond, Va., said its smoke-free product Zyn is the No. 1 nicotine pouch brand in the United States, and shipped nearly 198 million cans worldwide in 2021.

PMI announced in 2016 its mission to replace cigarettes with “science-based, less harmful alternatives as soon as possible,” the company said. While nearly all its revenues in 2015 came from cigarettes, in 2021, nearly 30% came from smoke-free products. By 2025, New York-based PMI aims to have more than half of its net revenues coming from smoke-free products, like its heat-not-burn device IQOS.

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