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De Labouchere’s JTI departure unsung

| December 24, 2013

Pierre de Labouchere last week resigned with immediate effect as president and CEO of Japan Tobacco International, according to a story by Mark Kleinman for Sky News.

Kleinman quoted a statement issued on Friday by a JTI spokesman as saying that de Labouchere had decided to resign as of December 18.

The statement said that de Labouchere had been replaced by Thomas A. McCoy.

‘JTI declined to comment on the reasons behind Mr de Labouchere’s sudden departure but insiders said that another senior executive responsible for the company’s mergers and acquisitions activity had also quit in recent days, suggesting some kind of strategic disagreement,’ said Kleinman.

PMI and JTI acquire stakes in Russian distribution firm

| December 4, 2013

Philip Morris International and Japan Tobacco International are acquiring equity stakes of 20 percent each in Megapolis Distribution, the holding company of CJSC TK Megapolis, a major distributor in Russia.

The companies are paying $750 million each for their stakes. If Megapolis’ operational performance meets certain benchmarks during the four fiscal years following the closing of the agreement, PMI and JTI will each pay an additional $100 million.

Megapolis is one of Russia’s leading consumer goods distributors focusing principally on tobacco and beverages. It employs almost 15,000 employees and commands a direct store delivery system that reaches more than 150,000 points of sale. Megapolis handles approximately 70 percent of the cigarettes sold in Russia through its distribution agreements with PMI, Japan Tobacco International and Imperial Tobacco Group.

“We are delighted to reach this agreement with Megapolis, our proven distribution partner, which will support our business expansion in this profitable market,” said Miroslaw Zielinski, PMI’s president, Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa Region and PMI Duty Free.

“Megapolis has been our partner since 2007 and has contributed to JTI’s success in the important Russian market,” commented Kevin Tomlinson, JTI’s regional president, commonwealth of independent states. “This acquisition will strengthen their distribution platform allowing us to implement our growth strategy in the region more efficiently and effectively.”

JTI to challenge Scottish plain-packaging plans

| April 8, 2013

The tobacco giant Japan Tobacco International is preparing to challenge the Scottish Government’s plain cigarette packets plans in an advertising campaign this week, according to an article in The Scotsman.

It will reveal correspondence, obtained through Freedom of Information, from the Department of Health in which officials state there is no hard evidence to suggest the change will cut smoking levels.

SNP health minister Michael Matheson announced two weeks ago that Scotland would be the first part of the UK to introduce plain packaging and insisted this was based on “available evidence.” Scottish Government officials say the Public Health Research Consortium has found the plans will reduce attractiveness and stop youngsters taking up the habit.

The FOI correspondence, which has been seen by The Scotsman, but cannot yet be published, will be part of an advertising campaign and dates from 2011.

In December, Australia became the first country to use plain packaging for cigarettes.

The tobacco firm says that the Scottish public should be made aware of the full facts.

JTI UK managing director Jorge da Motta said: “We hope common sense will prevail and that the Scottish Government will disregard this proposal.”