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Foreign firm offers to buy Mighty Corp.

By: Chino S. Leyco

The local unit of Japan Tobacco International has expressed interest in acquiring embattled cigarette firm Mighty Corp. as part of a deal to settle the multibillion pesos tax liabilities of the homegrown tobacco manufacturer with the government.

The Department of Finance said Mighty president and director Oscar P. Barrientos is offering the government P25 billion in settlement, covering the cigarette firm’s deficiency excise taxes and internal revenue taxes.

In his letter to Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III, Barrientos disclosed that the settlement will be funded by their “interim loan” from JTI Philippines, which has expressed interest in acquiring Mighty’s assets for P45 billion.

Based on the DoF statement, Mighty will sell its manufacturing facilities, distribution business, and other assets, including intellectual property rights, the Wong Chu King Holdings Inc., and other affiliates to JTI Philippines.

Barrientos was unavailable for comment yesterday while JTI Philippines said the local unit needs to get clearance first from its headquarters before issuing any statement regarding the transaction.

Dominguez, meanwhile, said the government will study the offer made by Mighty Corp.

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