May 21 Marlboro maker Philip Morris
International Inc said it will buy out billionaire Carlos
Slim's Grupo Carso from their Mexican joint
venture for about $700 million.
Grupo Carso will sell its 20 percent stake in Philip Morris
Mexico in a deal that the U.S. company said would add marginally
to its earnings per share in the fourth quarter.
Philip Morris said the agreement was subject to final price
adjustments based on the Mexican unit's performance over a
period of time.
"We have benefited greatly from our partnership with Grupo
Carso and we remain confident in our ability to excel in this
important market in the years ahead," James Mortensen, Philip
Morris International's president of Latin American and Canadian
operations, said in a statement.
Philip Morris said its partnership with Grupo Carso spanned
more than 30 years. Slim, frequently listed as the world's
richest man, is a member of the U.S. company's board.
The JV holds nearly three quarters of the market share of
Mexico's total tax-paid cigarette industry by volume and
Marlboro is the leading brand in Mexico with a 53.6 percent
share as of 2012, the company said.
Philip Morris shares were down 1 percent at $94.06 in
morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange, while Grupo
Carso shares were down 2 percent on the Mexican Stock Exchange.