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Last Updated: Friday, 22 February 2008, 16:14 GMT
BAT buys Turkish cigarette firm
A turkish smoker

British American Tobacco (BAT), has won the auction for the Turkish state-owned cigarette company, Tekel.

UK-based BAT, which makes Dunhill and Lucky Strike, beat off competitors in a televised auction with the highest bid of $1.72bn (874m).

It is the third time that the Turkish government has tried to privatise Tekel having failed to attract sufficient bids at the previous two attempts.

Turkey is the world's eighth largest cigarette market.

About 38% of adults smoke, getting through approximately 110 billion cigarettes each year.

If it is cleared by Turkish authorities, the acquisition will take BAT's share of the market from 7% to 36%.

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