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February, 2009

Bommidala Enterprises receives Certificates of Excellence
Andhra Pradesh - Bomidalla Enterprises recently received Certificates of Excellence from the Tobacco Board, Ministry of Commerce, Government of India.

For the second year in a row, Bommidala Enterprises received the Certificate of Excellence for First Best Performance in Export of Cut Tobacco. It also received Second Best Performance in Export of Cigarettes.

Shanghai Tobacco Group registers high export contract value
Shanghai - China’s Shanghai Tobacco Group recently registered US$ 21.2 mn worth of contracts throughout the course of the 2008 financial year for the export of tobacco machinery and auxiliary materials. The value of exporting contracts totaled US$ 18.68 mn and auxiliary materials totaled US$ 2.52 mn.

Shanghai Tobacco Group so far has already earned US$ 17.58 mn, coming close to record highs for the company.

In recent years, the import-export division of the company has focused on the importance of promoting development of the business of tobacco machinery and auxiliary materials export.

Jiangxi tobacco industry invests 45 mn yuan on improving
harm-reducing technology

Beijing - Recently, Jiangxi Tobacco Industrial Corp’s 45-mn-yuan-Jinshengxiang extraction center program celebrated the inauguration of its herb extraction program in Jinsheng Industry Technology Park, the future site of a testing base and research center for herbal harm-reduction products.

The program has been designed to meet the increasing demand for large quantities of high quality herb extractions used in Jinsheng brand production, and it plans to introduce a world-class herb extraction production line, with the ability to extract 300 tons of herbs per year.

New large tobacco distribution center established in Chinese city
Zigong city - Recently, a new tobacco distribution center was established in the southwest Chinese city of Zigong City in Sichuan province. This distribution center was created to meet the development of a new marketing system employed in the local region.

The construction of the center started during April of 2007 with an investment of more than 30 mn yuan (US$ 4.3 mn), and will be used to process orders and centralize management allocation, as well as the distribution of cigarette supplies.

Spin-off of Hammer Retex Group intended
Berlin - The Board of Directors at Industrieholding Cham AG has made a decision to concentrate their operating activities on the industrial business of Cham Paper Group.

Hammer Retex Group’s real estate businesses are to be separated by the majority through the distribution of a dividend to current shareholders of Industrieholding Cham AG. If this occurs, shareholders of Industrieholding Cham AG would ideally receive Hammer Retex shares.

The intent is for Cham Paper Group to continue as an industrial company listed on the Swiss Exchange (SWX), while the Hammer Retex Group is to be come a private entity. Should this occur, a purchase offer will be submitted to any shareholders willing to tender their shares in Hammer Retex Group.

Swedish Match welcomes an important step to normalize trade in the EU
Stockholm - Swedish Match recently announced that the Swiss government has made a significant step towards lifting the ban on the export of Swedish snus to consumers located in the European Union by asking the EU commission for a review of the export ban.

“The government’s move is an important first step towards the normalization of Sweden’s trade relationship with the rest of the EU. Swedish Match looks forward to the current ban being replaced by clear product regulation that would allow us to compete with our quality products on the same conditions as other Swedish companies,” said Patrik Hildingsson, Vice President Public Affairs at Swedish Match when commenting on the decision made by the Swedish government

“The export ban on snus has always been difficult to justify. For Swedish Match, Sweden’s membership of the EU has effectively shut the doors to neighbouring markets, contradicting the founding principles of the EU to open up for increased trade. Regulations banning the export of traditional products do not belong in a union founded on free trade,” Hildingsson said.

United Kingdom
Isatec Ltd. to intergrate Accumen
Chesham - Isatec Ltd., a UK-based a supplier of industrial software for the tobacco industry, has announced that it will fully integrate Accumen Technology, manufacturers of on-machine weight control and information systems for the cigarette and cigar manufacturing industry.

Accumen’s FENIX control system is based on the German company TEWS Elektronik’s MW3010 microwave sensor, and already uses operator interface software made by Isatec. This preexisting technical relationship will allow for quick integration of Accumen and the FENIX system into Isatec’s ISIS, the Factory Wide Data Collection and Reporting System.

United States
Altria Completes Acquisition of UST
Richmond - Altria Group, Inc. (Altria) has just announced that it has completed its acquisition of UST, a transaction that was valued at $11.7 bn, including about $1.3 bn worth of debt.

The shareholders of UST are entitled to get $69.50 per share in cash for each share of common stock, as the UST common stock will no longer be traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

FCTCSC changes name to US Tobacco Cooperative
Raleigh - The tobacco growers’ cooperative previously known as Flue Cured Tobacco Cooperative Stabilization Corporation has officially changed its name to US Tobacco Cooperative, Inc.

According to a company statement, “The name change reflects the Cooperative’s changing role in world-wide tobacco markets - from its establishment in 1946 as the administrator of the government price support program, to its dynamic new role as a producer and seller of quality products containing member-grown tobacco.”

USTC is a marketing cooperative representing tobacco farmers of Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, who also own and operate the company. USTC has a processing and manufacturing facility in North Carolina, and focuses on stemmery, primary, make pack, finished goods, and sales.

Tobacco International - February, 2009

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