Philip Morris Holland Holdings (PMH), an affiliate of Philip Morris International has increased the price of its bid for Swedish Match to SEK116 ($10.34) per share from the SEK106 per share offered in May. The company announced it would not further increase the price in its revised offer.
According to PMI, the new price offered represents a premium of 52.5 percent compared to Swedish Match’s closing share price of SEK76.06 on May 9, 2022; 52.9 percent compared to the volume-weighted average trading price of SEK75.86 during the 30 trading days ending May 9, 2022; and 60.4 percent compared to the volume-weighted average trading price of SEK72.33 during the 90 trading days ending May 9, 2022.
“We believe the best and final price in our revised offer for Swedish Match provides very compelling value for the shareholders of both Swedish Match and PMI,” said PMI CEO Jacek Olczak in a statement.
“The price in the revised offer primarily reflects the higher net value to PMI related to the portion of Swedish Match’s cash flows that are generated in U.S. dollars, given currency movements since the initial offer was announced in May.
“Moreover, we believe that the deterioration in the global economic outlook, equity markets and the interest rate environment since the time of the initial offer strengthens yet further the attractiveness of the revised offer to Swedish Match’s shareholders. The revised offer retains a 90 percent acceptance condition, which is critical to capture the full potential of the combination. Should the offer fail, we are well prepared to proceed autonomously to develop IQOS and the rest of our smoke-free portfolio in the U.S.”
In May, PMI bid about $16 billion for Swedish Match, which is best known for its smokeless products, including the successful Zyn nicotine pouches that have been taking the U.S. market by storm. Swedish Match’s board of directors recommended shareholders accept the offer, but some investors, including Elliott Management Corp., object, saying the bid undervalues their firm.
Raising the offer is made easier for PMI by the gains of the U.S. dollar against the Swedish currency since the deal was struck. Other factors that went into the revised offer were inflation, volatility in equity markets and changes in interest rates, according to a source at The Wall Street Journal.
In related news, PMI has struck a deal with Altria to buy back the U.S. commercialization rights for IQOS, Philip Morris’ heated-tobacco device.
IQOS and the proposal to buy Swedish Match are part of PMI’s strategy to generate more than half of its annual net revenue from smoke-free products by 2025, up from about 30 percent currently.