Philip Morris buys $625M Arab Investors-TA stake

NEW YORK (AP) — Cigarette seller Philip Morris International is buying a 49 percent stake in Arab Investors-TA for $625 million.

Philip Morris International Inc., which sells brands including Marlboro overseas, said Monday that the transaction gives it a nearly 25 percent interest in the Société des Tabacs Algéro-Emiratie, a joint venture between Arab Investors-TA and Algerian state-owned Société Nationale des Tabacs et Allumettes SpA.

The Société des Tabacs Algéro-Emiratie makes and distributes Philip Morris' Marlboro and L&M brands under a license.

Philip Morris International views Algeria as a key region for possible future growth.

The purchase is expected to add to the company's earnings per share starting next year.

Philip Morris International became a separate company from Altria Inc., which sells Marlboro and other brands in the U.S., in 2008.