Swedish Match AB (SWMA), a maker of smokeless tobacco products, rose the most in two weeks after a U.K. newspaper reported the company may be a takeover target.
The shares climbed as much as 2.5 percent to 248.40 kronor, the biggest intraday advance since June 28. The stock traded 1.8 percent higher at 246.80 kronor as of 9:21 a.m. in Stockholm. The number of shares traded was 62 percent of the three-month daily average. Swedish Match has risen 14 percent this year.
There is “growing speculation” of a 350 kronor-per-share-bid from one of the industry’s biggest companies, with Imperial Tobacco Group Plc (IMT), Europe’s second-biggest tobacco company, the favorite suitor, the newspaper said. Swedish Match and Imperial Tobacco officials couldn’t immediately be contacted for comment.
Stricter government restrictions on cigarettes is hurting the tobacco industry and pushing them to develop their smokeless products. Swedish Match is the world’s biggest maker of a moist powder tobacco called snus and also makes products including Longhorn snuff and Red Man chewing tobacco.
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