(Bloomberg) -- Elliott Investment Management is building a stake in Swedish Match AB, the smokeless tobacco company that’s agreed to be taken over in a $16 billion deal, people familiar with the matter said.
The US-based activist investor plans to oppose the transaction under its current terms, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing confidential information. Swedish Match agreed in May to be taken over by Philip Morris International Inc.
A representative for Elliott declined to comment. A representative for Swedish Match wasn’t immediately available for comment outside of regular business hours. A representative for Philip Morris wasn’t immediately available for comment.
The deal is subject to numerous conditions, including Philip Morris taking up more than 90% of Swedish Match’s shares with its offer unless it chooses to waive that condition.
The agreement, which ranks as one of the year’s largest deals, thrusts Philip Morris into the highly competitive field of oral nicotine products, many of which are very different from the chewing tobacco of the past.
Swedish Match is a leading maker of snus -- a smokeless tobacco product that users place between their upper lip and gum popular in Sweden but banned across much of the rest of Europe. It also makes nicotine pouches called ZYN.
Elliott, which is run by billionaire Paul Singer, has agitated for changes at some of the world’s largest and most prominent companies, including Twitter Inc., Canadian National Railway Co., and AT&T Inc. in recent years.
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