Philip Morris, world renowned cigarette giant, has acquired a majority stake in Philippines dominant local cigarette firm, Fortune Tobacco. Lucio Tan, one of the richest men in the Philippines according to Forbes magazine, is the owner of Fortune Tobacco. The acquisition will eventually merge the two companies.
Fortune has monopolized the cigarette industry for years, but its market share recently plunged to less than 60%. Philip Morris on the other hand gained a larger share of the market, around 30%, with its aggressive marketing and expanded distribution network. The Philippines is one of the few countries with a dominant local cigarette firm before the acquisition.
The Philippines smokers consume around 80 million cigarette sticks per day making it the 15th largest smoking population in the world and second in Southeast Asia.
Update: Philip Morris and Fortune Tobacco merged its operations in the Philippines. The new company, Philip Morris-Fortune Tobacco Corp., will have Fortune Tobacco’s Lucio Tan as its chairman and Chris Nelson will be the president who will see the day-to-day operations.
Here are some of the products of Fortune Tobacco: