MEXICO CITY - Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim's Grupo Carso company is selling its stake in Philip Morris's Mexico unit to the U.S. tobacco giant for $700 million, the firms said Tuesday.
Grupo Carso holds a 20% stake in Philip Morris Mexico (PMM), and the companies expect to complete the transaction by Sept. 30, ending a three-decade partnership between Slim and the maker of Marlboro cigarettes.
Philip Morris (IW 500/14) holds almost three-quarters of Mexico's cigarette market share, with Marlboro the most popular brand with a 53.6% share last year, the company said.
"After more than 30 years of a very successful partnership of great harmony and cooperation that led PMM to continuous market share growth in the Mexican tobacco market, it is now time to leave PMM in the hands of one of the best management teams and organizations in the world," Slim said in a statement.
The final purchase price of the transaction will be determined by a previously agreed formula, subject to a potential tweak based on the Mexican unit's performance over a three-year period, the companies said.
Slim, who tops Forbes magazine's list of the world's richest people, is a member of Philip Morris International's board. He is the chairman of Mexico's biggest telecommunications firm, America Movil.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013