SOURCE: Altadis

February 21, 2007 15:50 ET

Altadis announces a new corporate organization project

PARIS -- (MARKET WIRE) -- February 21, 2007 --

The Boards of Directors of Altadis and Seita have reviewed two initiatives designed to strengthen the Group:

--  Spin-off of the logistics business in France and proposed
    integration within Logista
--  Integration of the whole US cigar business within a single
    legal entity under Seita
--  No impact on employment
The Boards of Directors of Altadis and Seita met today to review two projects that are to be presented to employee representatives under the statutory information and consultation process.

The projects to spin-off the logistics business in France and to transfer all of the US cigar operations to Seita are designed to meet two objectives: to strengthen the logistic businesses and to improve the Group's financial structure through a series of legal and financial transactions.

"In a much more aggressive competitive environment, these projects demonstrate the Group's commitment to optimizing all its operational, legal and financial parameters in order to reinforce its position," said Chief Executive Officer Antonio Vazquez.

The planned transactions will position the Group to more effectively respond to changes in the logistics business, and will provide a stronger base for the Group's distributive capacity , as well as improve its debt structure.

Spin-off of the logistics business in France

By spinning the logistics division off from Seita's tobacco manufacturing and sales operations and transforming it into a subsidiary with its own legal structure, the Group wants to apply in France the organizational model that has already proven effective in Spain and Italy.

The proposed spin-off, which would not have any impact on jobs, would have no effect on the organization of tobacconist distribution operations.

After being spun off, it is proposed that the new company would therefore become a subsidiary of Logista, thus establishing a leading European logistics company.

Integration of the whole US cigar business within a single legal entity under Seita

Today, Altadis Holdings USA, the US cigar business, is majority owned by Seita, with a minority stake held by Tabacalera Cigars International (TCI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Altadis SA. Following the reorganization, Seita would own indirectly 100% of the shares of Altadis Holdings USA.

Together, these two projects would improve the corporate and financial structure of the Group.

The process

According to the statutory timeline, the information and consultation process with employee representatives (the Altadis Group European Works Council, the Seita Central Works Council and the Company Union Committee in Spain) should begin on March 7, 2007.

This information is provided by CompanynewsGroup

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