Tobacco giant BAT buys Bulgarian brands

British-American-TobaccoSOFIA: British American Tobacco said Wednesday that it has agreed to buy a raft of cigarette brands from Bulgaria’s Bulgartabac for more than 100 million euros (US$106 million).

The acquisition of the Victory, Eva Slim and GD marques will lift BAT’s local market share to 40% from the current 12% BAT said.

The tobacco giant will also acquire distribution and retail assets in Bulgaria and within the wider Adriatic region.

Bulgaria’s tobacco market is worth almost a billion euros annually and the Balkan country has one of the highest smoking rates in the European Union.

BAT regional chief Richard Widmann said the country has a “very bright future”. The deal is subject to regulatory approval.