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Philip Morris Completes Rothmans Purchase

Company said owners of about 47 million shares, representing about 68 percent of the Canadian cigarette maker, had accepted its offer of $28.16 per share.

NEW YORK (AP) -- Philip Morris International Inc. said Wednesday it had completed its buyout of Canadian cigarette maker Rothmans Inc.

Philip Morris International said owners of about 47 million shares, representing about 68 percent of the company, had accepted its offer of 30 Canadian dollars (about $28.16) per share. It will pay for those shares on Friday.

The company also extended its offer by 10 days to allow shareholders to tender remaining shares.

Philip Morris International announced the deal in July. The company was spun off from Altria Group Inc., which owns Richmond, Va.-based Philip Morris USA, in March.

Worldwide, the tobacco industry has been consolidating. Altria said earlier this month that it would buy smokeless tobacco maker UST Inc. And in January, Imperial Tobacco Group PLC bought Franco-Spanish company Altadis.

Furthermore, industry watchers are speculating about a possible eventual buyout of Lorillard, which was spun off from the Loews Corp. in June.

For its part, Philip Morris International is expanding in emerging markets around the world. In the second quarter, it started production of Marlboro cigarettes at two factories in China. The company has a partnership with the state-owned China National Tobacco Corp., which is the only tobacco company larger than Philip Morris International itself.

Canada-based Rothmans has a 60 percent stake in Rothmans, Benson & Hedges Inc., which makes and sells cigarettes including Benson & Hedges, Craven A and Mark Ten. Philip Morris International owns the remaining 40 percent of RBH.

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