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MADRID: Following a review announced in February this year, Imperial Tobacco is to sell a minority share of its Madrid-based tobacco distribution and logistics company Logista.

Imperial acquired Logista in 2008 as part of a €16.2 billion acquisition of Altadis, itself the result of a 1999 merger between French and Spanish tobacco monopolies.

LogistaAltadis will sell an undisclosed percentage of its shares in Logista to institutional investors via an IPO on the Spanish Stock Exchange. Imperial says it intends to retain a majority stake in the company via its Altadis subsidiary.

For the six months ending in March and for the full year ending in September 2013, Logista reported revenue of €516 million and €1.01 billion respectively from the tobacco, FMCG, telecom, pharmaceutical and publishing sectors.

Commenting on the proposed IPO, Logista CEO Luis Egido said: "Since we left the stock exchanges in 2008, we have successfully expanded our business by providing a broad spectrum of additional products and value-added services to different channels, added an additional important and large market through the acquisition of Logista France, and strengthened our position in tobacco product distribution. "

Gálvez added that the combination of cost reductions and diversification had enabled the company to maintain a "solid" performance in the past three years despite a decline in tobacco volumes and a weak economic environment.

"Our strategy is premised on applying our know-how acquired through a long experience in the distribution of tobacco products," he said. The company says it is the trusted logistics partner in Spain, France, Italy and Portugal for all major tobacco manufacturers.

Other Logista services include a long distance road transport network and Nacex, an express/courier company. Earlier this year, Nacex announced a partnership with electrical retailer Euronics to leverage a point-of-sale and drop and pick-up network. The company says the tie-up will allow individuals to use Euronics to pick up deliveries as well as orders via Nacex. The express company has a fleet of 1,532 vehicles and a network of 310 agencies in Spain, Portugal and Andorra.

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