Philip Morris Cos. has secured options to buy three Liggett Group cigarette brands--Chesterfield, Lark and L&M--for $300 million. An initial payment of $150 million is to be delivered by Dec. 1. The three brands have a combined share of 0.3% of the tobacco market, according to the Maxwell Report; Philip Morris has a 48.4% market share. The Liggett brands, for which PM already holds international rights, are now unadvertised in the U.S. and have no agency of record. The purchase leaves Liggett only one premium brand, Eve, and generic cigarettes with a total share of 1%.
Copyright November 1998, Crain Communications Inc.