TOKYO -- Japan Tobacco has acquired a cigarette distributor in Brazil, a market where it has sought to make headway since re-entering in 2014.
JT bought all of Salvador-based Fluxo Brasil Distribuidora do Produtos SA for an undisclosed amount. Fluxo has nine distribution centers and offices covering all of the country's major states. It carried JT cigarettes before the acquisition and sells lighters and other products besides tobacco.
The Japanese company left South America's most populous nation in 2011, only to return three years later. Lacking any factories there, it exports Camel, Winston and other cigarette brands for sale to Brazil's smokers.
JT holds less than 1% of the Brazilian market, compared with British American Tobacco's nearly 80% share. Its weak presence in South America and Southeast Asia contrasts with its success in 17 international markets, including the U.K. and Russia, where it ranks first.