By Martinne Geller
LONDON Feb 13 Imperial Tobacco Group is
considering listing shares in its European logistics division on
the stock market, as it focuses on its core cigarettes business
that is declining in many markets.
Imperial, the world's fourth-largest international tobacco
company by market share, said on Thursday it was reviewing
options related to a potential initial public offering (IPO).
Shares in the maker of Davidoff and Gauloises cigarettes
were up 5.5 percent at 2347 pence by 1534 GMT.
Like its rivals, Imperial is grappling with lower smoking
rates in a number of markets due to increasing government
regulation and more health-aware consumers. It plans to launch
two electronic cigarettes this year, which are safer
alternatives to traditional cigarettes.
Madrid-based Logista distributes Imperial's cigarettes in
countries including France, Spain and Italy but also has
non-tobacco customers. Last year it recorded revenue of 8.3
billion pounds and adjusted operating profit of 176 million
pounds, according to Imperial's annual report.
Imperial is working with Credit Suisse and Goldman
Sachs on the potential IPO, said a source familiar with
Officials at Imperial and Goldman declined to comment on the
appointment. Credit Suisse was not immediately available.
Imperial reported earlier on Thursday that underlying
tobacco net revenue rose 1 percent in the first quarter, in line
with its expectations.