South Korea - KT&G forms alliance with Imperial Tobacco Group..

January 28, 2010 - Kwak Young-kyoon, President of KT&G (formerly Korea Tobacco and Ginseng Corporation) , South Korea's foremost tobacco company, and Andrew Lochrie, regional director of Asia & Pacific at Imperial Tobacco Group, signed an alliance agreement under which KT&G will manufacture Imperial products. Under the deal, KT&G will manufacture and sell tobacco under the Davidoff brand in the first half of this year, the company said. KT&G and Imperial Tobacco plan to enhance their strategic tie-ups to expand their overseas market presence, the South Korean company said.

Davidoff is on offer in more than 100 countries across the globe and is particularly strong in such countries as Taiwan, Greece and Middle East, according to the Bristol-based company. The trademark was originally held by Reemtsma in German but was acquired by Imperial back in 2002 when it took over Reemtsma.

South Korea's biggest tobacco company, said Tuesday, January 26th that it has clinched a licensing agreement with Imperial Tobacco Group to use the European cigarette maker's Davidoff brand. KT&G Corp. has lost market share since the Korean market opened to international competition in 2001. KT&G has been subjected to continuous share erosion driven by aggressive market penetration from BAT, PMI and JT.

Imperial Tobacco failed in the marketing of Davidoff in the U.S. - the product was never promoted properly. (Imperial Tobacco Gets Approval to Sell Brands in U.S..; Commonwealth Brands Inc., the fourth-biggest cigarette maker; Davidoff Cigarettes Takes Award for ‘Best Packaging & Design’..)

Reference: KT&G forms alliance with Imperial Tobacco Group, Tobacco Journal International, 1/26/2010; KT&G Rises on Goldman Upgrade After Davidoff Contract (Update2), Reporter Saeromi Shin (, Editors: Linus Chua, Reinie Booysen, 1/27/2010.

South Korea - some related news briefs:
South Korea - more smokers in 2009 than in 2008..;
South Korea - remote island going smoke-free, car-free and night lights-free..;
South Korea - Stressed-out Koreans smoking more..;
South Korea - to ban smoking in public places from 2011..;
Korea - BAT - winning the hearts and minds of customers based on tactics tailored to local tastes..;
Korea - sets target to reduce smoking 10% in 5-years..;
Korea - stricter regulation of the tobacco industry coming..;
South Korea - tobacco imports surge 396-fold over 10-years..;
Korea - slight increase in men smoking.. ;
South Korea - anti-tobacco campaign - body painting..;
Korea - smoking ban just about everywhere by end of 2009..;
Tobacco marketing in South Korea has been deliberately aimed at girls and young women..;
Korea - smoking rates fall for men and women...