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Imperial Tobacco purchases Davidoff trademark for € 540 mln

Imperial Tobacco Group Plc, Europe's second-largest maker of cigarettes, acquires worldwide Davidoff cigarette trademark Imperial Tobacco announced that, subject to clearance from the German Federal Cartel Office, it has acquired the worldwide Davidoff cigarette trademark from Tchibo Holding AG for a cash consideration of €540 million (£368 million). Gareth Davis, Chief Executive of Imperial Tobacco Group, said:  "Davidoff is our key international strategic premium cigarette brand and an important growth driver for the business. We have achieved considerable success with Davidoff cigarettes, increasing global volumes in the last four years. As well as significantly enhancing our brand equity this acquisition provides greater flexibility to develop the brand, enabling us to increase investment and accelerate its international growth.

Additionally, given the global growth potential of the brand and the likelihood of significant increases in future royalty rates, acquiring the cigarette trademark at this time will ensure that we maximise value for the long term benefit of our shareholders." Davis added: "This acquisition, combined with our ongoing share buyback programme, again demonstrates our ability to effectively manage our cash. We continue to focus on the profitable development of the business and this includes pursuing other value creating acquisition opportunities as they arise. I am also pleased that the provisions of the acquisition enable us to maintain our excellent relationship with the Oettinger Davidoff Group, owner of the worldwide Davidoff trademark for tobacco products other than cigarettes. This will ensure that both parties continue to share their knowledge and expertise in managing the integrity of this valuable brand." (