Officially Altria breaks up today into PM USA and PM International -whether you think this is a good move or not – the question is what’s next?
At PM USA I speculate they will pursue a US acquisition in the smokeless category – most probably Swedish Match or US Smokeless. Everybody else believes the top pick is Swedish Match, but I think the most likely candidate is USST.
USST has the greater share of Premium (yes Premium) Brands in the smokeless category.
They have product development expertise.
An experienced sales force and, despite some pessimistic opinions, good marketing.
I know most of this applies to Swedish Match but USST has size -for this reason I see USST as a better fit for PM USA on this basis.
At PM International, the jewel in the crown must be China – did anyone hear the PBS news this morning – they said so too.
With 350 million male smokers in China, you don’t have to get much percentage penetration to have a huge volume (for Marlboro.)
Agree / diagree – post your view and let’s have a discussion?
Watch this space.