Company continues expansion into Africa
Japan Tobacco Inc. (JT) announced today that the JT Group has signed a share purchase agreement of USD510 million with the Ethiopian Government for 40% of the total shares in National Tobacco Enterprise Ethiopia S.C (NTE), after having submitted a successful bid last May.
“The JT Group is delighted to be entering the Ethiopian market where we currently have no presence,” said Mutsuo Iwai, Executive Vice President and President of the Tobacco Business. “Ethiopia will be an important expansion of our geographic footprint in emerging markets. As the largest shareholder, we expect to be able to exert significant influence over the direction of the company. The country is currently experiencing double-digit economic growth, with industry volume also expected to continue to increase.” Mr. Iwai added.
“JTI is recognized as a leading tobacco company and I expect them to bring their technical, business and management ability to develop NTE into a world class company, which will contribute to the overall Ethiopian economy. We very much look forward to working with JTI and offer our full support in making this a success for all stakeholders.” said Demitu Hambisa, Ethiopia’s Minister of Public Enterprises.
“The Government fully recognizes our expertise as a global manufacturer, and is ready to give us the opportunity to leverage our successful experience in other Middle East and African markets such as Tanzania and Egypt. We are therefore confident that we will achieve all the goals we have set for this business” said Jorge da Motta, JTI’s Regional President for the Middle East, Near East and Africa region. “We will work with all shareholders to see how we can continue to grow the NTE business and explore opportunities to further strengthen NTE’s brands such as Nyala, as well as the overall distribution and manufacturing capabilities.”
The transaction was completed with funds by the Group’s existing cash and loan facilities. Financial impacts on the Group’s consolidated performance for the fiscal year 2016 are non material. Source: Press Release