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BAT caught leg before wicket in Uganda

British American Tobacco (BAT), part-owned by the Rupert Reich (the last time I looked), made history (again). This time the news is not all that positive.

This comes from the website www.legalbrief.co.za:

Ugandan farmers win case against tobacco giant

Published in: Legalbrief Today
Date: Wed 02 July 2008

British American Tobacco Uganda (BATU) has been ordered to pay over $1m to tobacco farmers as compensation for failure to buy their crop.

Justice Fred Egonda-Ntende of the High Court Commercial Division made the ruling. The New Vision reports that the suit was filed three years ago by 3 000 farmers. This is the first case in Ugandan history where peasants have taken a multinational corporation to court and succeeded.

The court also ordered the tobacco firm to pay the costs of the suit and 26% interest per annum to each of the farmers. This would bring the total amount to $2m, one of the farmers' lawyers said. The farmers sued the company in 2005 for breach of contract.
3.7.08 10:19


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BAT's Scandinavian deal approved

This from the website DFNIonline.com (published on 3/7/2008):

BAT controls 60% of Scandinavian market

The European Commission has approved British American Tobacco’s (BAT) acquisition of the cigarette business of Scandinavian Tobacco and some of its snus and ryo tobacco interests.

Approval has been granted on the condition that BAT agrees to sell a small number of local brands, primarily in Norway. The sale of these brands should not affect the financial or operational performance of the enlarged BAT group once the transaction is complete.

As a result of the transaction BAT will control 60% of the cigarettes market in Scandinavia, giving its subsidiaries additional annual sales of about 30bn cigarettes. It will also give the group market leadership in Denmark and Norway, representing one-third of the Swedish market, and will elevate it from fourth- to second-biggest cigarette supplier in Poland, with about one-third of sales.

end of quote.
3.7.08 19:01


BAT battles competitor Reemtsma in German court

Life ain't easy for British American Tobacco (BAT). When it isn't blamed for selling single cigarettes to children in Africa, or ordered to pay compensation to Ugandan farmers (read article "BAT caught leg before wicket in Uganda"), then it loses a tit-for-tat court battle against its German rival Reemtsma - all in the space of a week, or two.

Here my translation of an article in the latest issue (dated 7/7/2008) of the German financial weekly WirtschaftsWoche:

Website blocked

Ad Schenk, the German boss of BAT, fights with Reemtsma over internet presentations.

Smokers should know what is in a cigarette, thought BAT, and decided to inform smokers about the tobacco used in the brand Lucky Strike on its website. To protect children, BAT made access to the page with the tobacco information conditional on the entering of an ID number. (The age of the website user can be derived from his ID number and under-age users are denied access to the page.)

But Reemtsma, BAT's competitor on the German market, thought BAT's website breached the advertising ban on tobacco products and filed a lawsuit in the Hamburg state court. As a countermove, BAT filed a lawsuit against Reemtsma, on the ground that Reemtsma collects addresses on its website and then e-mails users advertisements.

When the court rejected BAT's claim, and agreed with Reemtsma's claim, BAT went on appeal to a higher court. On the ground that its website is not a "public place" (as defined in the legislation banning tobacco advertising), due to the age control...and the advertising ban only pertains to public places.

Until the higher court decides, the specific section of the BAT website must remain "off-air". Now, everyone surfing to that section is greeted with the message that information about the tobaccos used in Lucky Strike cigarettes will be displayed again once the legal dispute has been settled.
7.7.08 10:14


SAB Miller in Ukraine

This article from Drinks International (www.drinksint.com):

SAB Miller completes Sarmat purchase
Published: 7th Jul 2008

SAB Miller announced today it has completed the acquisition of Ukranian brewer CJSC Sarmat.

SAB Miller, which bought 99.84% of Sarmat, says the brewer is one of the largest in Ukraine. Production will be based at a brewery in Donetsk in the east of the country with an annual production capacity of 2.9 million hectolitres, producing the Sarmat, Dnipro and Drive Max brands.

Igor Tikhonov will be managing director, having previously been managing director CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) of SAB Miller RUS.

Ukraine is one of the fastest growing beer markets globally with a four year average annual growth rate to 2006 of 14%, SAB figures showed. Another foreign brewer, Baltic Beverages Holding, a venture between Scottish & Newcastle and Carlsberg, has also increased its presence in Ukraine in recent years.

SAB Miller said it would upgrade Sarmat’s facilities to increase operational efficiency. It also intends to strengthen the existing Sarmat brands, before introducing a selection of its international and regional brands into Ukraine.
8.7.08 09:54


Logicalis helps IT professionals in healthcare

Realizing data storage and management was a big headache for IT professionals in healthcare organizations these days, Logicalis compiled a report to help these guys out of their dilemma.

In a press statement released today, the company said the report details the challenges and lists solutions to meet these challenges. It's free and can be downloaded at http://www.us.logicalis.com/datahealthcare.

Logicalis is a division of Datatec Limited, a $4 billion multi-national organization listed on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange and Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Logicalis has annualized revenues in excess of $1 billion, from operations in the UK, US, Germany and Latin America.
8.7.08 11:05


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