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SOUTH KOREA

KT&G forms alliance with Imperial Tobacco Group

26 Jan 2010. Kwak Young-kyoon, President of KT&G, South Korea's foremost tobacco company, and Andrew Lochrie, regional director of Asia & Pacific at Imperial Tobacco Group, signed an alliance agreement under which KT&G will manufacture Imperial products.

``We have forged a brand license agreement with Imperial Tobacco to start producing one of its best-selling products, Davidoff, here in Korea over the first half of this year,'' KT&G spokesman Kim Tae-hoon said. The exchange of state-of-the-art technologies between Imperial Tobacco and KT&G will bring more premium cigarettes here,'' he said.

Davidoff is on offer in more than 100 countries across the globe and is particularly strong in such countries as Taiwan, Greece and Middle East, according to the Bristol-based company. The trademark was originally held by Reemtsma in German but was acquired by Imperial back in 2002 when it took over Reemtsma.

KT&G is Korea's single-largest cigarette manufacturer, and accounts for around 60 percent of the local market. (ci)