Greek tobacco company SEKAP passes to Japan Tobacco ownership in group deal

SEKAP, the Greek Cooperative Tobacco Industry that was owned by Donskoy Tabak since 2013, will pass to Japanese ownership as part of a larger package deal worth around 1.6 billion dollars that was signed on Friday.

Japan Tobacco Inc. (JT) announced that the Group’s purchase of Russian-based Donskoy Tabac, part of the Agrokom Group of companies owned by Russian-Greek businessman Ivan Savvidis, demonstrates its commitment to reinforcing its number one position in Russia, where it owns brands Winston and LD.

The transaction is expected to be completed by the first quarter of fiscal year 2018, following regulatory clearance, it said.

SEKAP, a historic company based in northern Greece’s city of Xanthi, was established under its current name in 1975. According to the JT statement, its net assets were 35.1 million euros for the year ended December 31, 2016 and total assets for the same period 57.3 million euros.

Its chairman of the board, Artur Davidian, said in a statement following the signing that negotiations for the agreement took over a year. “Since its reconstruction, SEKAP has had a dynamic presence in the Greek market the last five years. Now it is being incorporated into a large international tobacco company,” he said.

Japan Tobacco is 33% state-owned and includes the brands of Winston, Camel, Mevius, LD and American Spirit, as well as electronic cigarettes. JT International Hellas has been active in the Greek market since the 1980s. It accounts for 1.5% of all tax revenues of Greece and buys 25% of the total tobacco production in the country. In 2018 it was recognised as the top employer in Greece, and in 2017 as one of the 25 best companies to work for in Europe.