British American Tobacco (BAT) has agreed to buy some of Bulgarian cigarette maker Bulgartabac's top brands in a deal worth more than €100m (£84.8m).
The move to buy Victory, Eva Slim and GD brands will bring BAT's market share in the country to 40 per cent from just 12 per cent previously. The deal will include retail and distribution assets in the country and the wider Adriatic region.
BAT, which has operated in Bulgaria for 25 years, said it is proud to be making the biggest investment in the country this year.
"We are committed to the Bulgarian market and are very excited about this investment in a country which is increasingly demonstrating that it has a very bright future. This significant investment demonstrates our confidence both in Bulgaria and our future growth here," said Richard Widmann, general manager of BAT’s central European cluster.
Subject to regulatory approval, the deal will be complete by mid-2017, BAT said.
A spokesperson for BAT added the transaction aligns financially and strategically with the business objectives for the central European region. The group will grow its business in Bulgaria and further enhance its position in the Balkans, following its acquisition of TDR in 2015.