Colombia puts conditions on Philip Morris deal

BOGOTA, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Colombia's competition authority on Tuesday placed conditions on the proposed $452 million acquisition by Philip Morris International Inc PM.N of a Colombian cigarette manufacturer.

The move opened the door for the maker of Marlboro cigarettes to complete the deal to buy privately-held Productora Tabacalera de Colombia, Protabaco, Ltda, Colombia’s second-largest cigarette maker. [ID:nN1550986]

The Colombian body said in a statement Philip Morris would have to sell off Protabaco’s Premier brand of cigarettes to a national or foreign company and another of the Colombian firm’s brands that does not have as much market share as Premier.

Phillip Morris also must not have exclusivity clauses with major or minor tobacco producers. Philip Morris agreed to buy Protabaco in July 2009. (Reporting by Javier Mozzo; editing by Carol Bishopric)