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Kenya’s Mastermind Tobacco is expected to sell its majority stake to Philip Morris International Inc, at undisclosed amount if their current talks conclude successfully.

Globally, Philip Morris is ranked the largest tobacco company by sales and it manufactures products like Marlboro, a leading cigarette brand in the world.

Mastermind is the second largest cigarette maker in Kenya after British America Tobacco.

The deal will be guaranteed a 51 per cent stake, which will give it an upper hand in the Kenyan business.

If the deal succeeds, Mastermind Tobacco is expected to start manufacturing the Marlboro cigarette brands.

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Details of the deal are still scanty according to Business Daily. Attempts to get a comment regarding the buyout price from the Mastermind Tobacco founder, Wilfred Murungi were futile.

However, sources familiar with the negotiations says that the transaction is at an advanced stage.

In the Kenyan cigarette market, Mastermind has strong brands like Supermatch Menthol, Rocket, Supermatch, but once the deal is inked it will expand into producing brands like Marlboro, Bond Street, Chesterfield, among others.

Philip Morris will exploit the deal to expand its presence in Africa, which at the moment is only concentrated in North Africa.

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