Nakhla Tobacco Co., Imperial Tobacco, British American Tobacco and Al-Mansour International Co. have asked Egypt to broaden the conditions of a prospective license to manufacture cigarettes in the country, reports Reuters.
Egypt has invited tobacco companies to bid for a license to manufacture cigarettes in the country, which has been dominated for decades by the Eastern Co. state monopoly. The winning bid must include a plan to begin production within three years and at a rate of at least 15 billion cigarettes per year.
The companies that were invited to bid said the license’s conditions were too narrow and asked the prime minister to halt the bid round until they could be made fairer.
The bid deadline has been set for April 4, with the auction to be held on June 6.
The cigarette industry contributes more than EGP60 billion Egyptian ($3.8 billion) to government coffers yearly, according to the state Industrial Development Authority.