(Reuters) - Cigarette company Altria Group Inc MO.N agreed to buy UST Inc UST.N, the maker of Skoal smokeless tobacco, for $10.4 billion to benefit from a growing market as U.S. cigarette consumption declines.
UST is the largest player in the U.S. smokeless tobacco market and gives Altria an immediate lead in the industry over rival Reynolds American Inc RAI.N, which bought smokeless tobacco maker Conwood in 2006.
Here is a look at the main players in the U.S. cigarette and smokeless tobacco markets and selected retail sales data:
* Owns Philip Morris USA, cigarette brands include Marlboro, Parliament and Virginia Slims
* U.S. cigarette market share: 51 percent
* Second-quarter shipment volume: 43.6 billion cigarettes
* Owns premium smokeless tobacco brands Skoal and Copenhagen
* U.S. smokeless tobacco market share: 58 percent
* Second-quarter premium brands volume: 143.2 million cans
REYNOLDS AMERICAN INC
* Owns Camel, Pall Mall and Kool cigarette brands under R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co
* Owns Conwood, home to the Grizzly and Kodiak smokeless tobacco brands
* Conwood smokeless tobacco market share: 27.8 percent
* R.J. Reynolds U.S. cigarette market share: 28.1 percent
* Second-quarter shipment volume: 23.9 billion cigarettes
* Second-quarter snuff shipment volume: 88.4 million cans
LORILLARD INC LO.N
* Owns Newport, Kent and True cigarette brands.
* U.S. cigarette market share: 11 percent
* Second quarter shipment volume: 9.7 billion cigarettes
US TOBACCO SALES DATA (52 weeks to August 9):
* Cigarette sales sold through food, drug and mass merchandise stores, excluding Wal-Mart Stores Inc WMT.N: $7.24 billion
* Chewing tobacco sales: $306.6 million
* Smokeless tobacco sales sold through convenience stores: $3.16 billion
Source: Individual company reports. Sales data courtesy of The Nielsen Company.
Reporting by Michele Gershberg; Editing by Andre Grenon
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