The Altria Group plans to spin off Philip Morris International

August 30, 2007 - The Altria Group plans to spin off Philip Morris International, the overseas maker of Marlboros and other cigarette brands, in a move intended to give it more freedom to pursue sales growth in emerging markets. The plans, announced yesterday, would leave Altria with its much smaller domestic tobacco business, which still is the biggest in the United States. The spinoff would clear the international tobacco business from the legal and regulatory constraints facing its domestic counterpart, Philip Morris USA. The company’s board announced it would confirm its decision and give the exact timing of the spinoff at its board meeting on Jan. 30. Sales at Philip Morris International, based in Lausanne, Switzerland, are more than double those at the United States unit, with 2006 revenue of $48.26 billion, compared with Philip Morris USA’s $18.47 billion. Last year, Philip Morris International sold 831 billion cigarettes, making it the world’s largest nongovernment tobacco company by volume. It holds 15.4 percent of the global market.