PMI will manufacture and market Imperial's brands in Mexico..

March 12, 2010 - Philip Morris International Inc. (PMI) and Imperial Tobacco Group PLC (Imperial) today announced that they have entered into a long-term agreement for the licensed manufacture and commercialization of Imperial’s brands in Mexico.

Imperial currently imports and distributes its West and Davidoff brands in Mexico. Philip Morris Mexico will now manufacture West in Mexico and will procure Davidoff from Imperial’s affiliate Commonwealth Brands Inc. Philip Morris Mexico will market and distribute both brands throughout the country.

Imperial Tobacco Group plc is the world's fourth largest international tobacco company, Number one in Britain with a market share of approximately 46% and Number 2 in Europe. (Imperial Tobacco Group - Interim Management Statement..)

Miroslaw Zielinski, President of the Latin America & Canada Region for PMI, said: “We are very pleased to have entered into this license agreement with Imperial. This is a very important step for PMI and we are committed to building on this opportunity in the future. The agreement will benefit both companies and allows Philip Morris Mexico to complement its portfolio by adding two quality brands - Davidoff and West - to the product range it offers to adult smokers.”

Graham Bolt, Imperial’s Regional Director Americas, said: “We are pleased that this agreement allows us to initiate our cooperation in Mexico. We are confident that Philip Morris Mexico’s strong manufacturing capabilities and the strength of their extensive distribution network will continue to provide adult smokers throughout the country with the high quality Imperial products they have come to expect. We look forward to this new partnership and continuing to build our brands in Mexico.”

The manufacture of West by PM Mexico and the procurement of Davidoff will begin in May 2010, and the marketing and distribution of both brands will commence in June 2010.

Euromonitor - Tobacco in Mexico..

Reference: Philip Morris International Inc. and Imperial Tobacco Group PLC Announce License Agreement in Mexico, Philip Morris International Inc., New York, 3/10/2010.