MOSCOW (Reuters) - Philip Morris International Inc <PM. N> and Japan Tobacco Inc <2914. T> are each spending $750 million (458 million pounds) on buying 20 percent stakes in Russian distributor Megapolis, the companies said in separate press releases on Wednesday.
Megapolis is the exclusive distributor for Japan Tobacco as well as Philip Morris and Imperial Tobacco <IMT. L> in Russia, and is estimated to control just over 70 percent of the wholesale cigarette market.
The company, majority owned by Igor Kesayev, was considering a London initial public offering in 2011 to raise up to $1.5 billion but postponed the flotation indefinitely. Kesayev also controls Russian food retailer Dixy <DIXY. MM>.
The purchase price excludes a possible additional payment of up to $100 million by each of the companies depending on Megapolis' performance.
The deal is expected to close by the end of the year and is expected to be accretive to Philip Morris' earnings per share as of the first quarter of 2014.
(Reporting by Maria Kiselyova; writing by Megan Davies; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)