British American Tobacco open to 'beneficial' opportunity in PH


Posted at Aug 11 2014 01:59 PM | Updated as of Aug 11 2014 09:59 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Lucky Strike maker British American Tobacco (BAT) said it is open to partnering with another cigarette manufacturing company in the country.

BAT Philippines head of corporate and regulatory affairs Robert Eugenio said the company is open to any "beneficial" opportunity in the country.

BAT, which returned to the Philippine market in 2012, has seen its market share grow at a snail's pace despite its strategy of selling imported cigarettes at below the economical price. BAT's market share remains below 1 percent in the Philippines.

"In the process of running a business, we would look at whether partnering with another company would make sense than putting up our own manufacturing facility," Eugenio said.

He noted in the past, BAT partnered with La Suerte Cigar and Cigarette Factory. However, the partnership ended when the company left in 2009.

Asked if BAT has approached Mighty Corp. regarding a possible partnership, Eugenio said, "I'm not aware and involved in such a transaction."

Mighty is known for selling cigarettes at P1 a stick, a strategy that has allowed it to grow its market share from 3 percent in 2012 to nearly 35 percent last year.