Philip Morris International
Philip Morris International Inc. (PMI) catapulted to the No. 2 spot on our tobacco list this year after its spin-off from Altria Group Inc. was completed in March 2008. "Our first year as an independent company was also marked by significant progress on numerous strategic fronts and specifically behind our efforts to improve our speed to market and enhance the vibrancy and equity of our strong brand portfolio," said Louis Camilleri, chairman and chief executive officer upon announcing the company's 2008 sales gain of 15.2 percent. In 2008, PMI acquired Rothmans Inc. of Canada as well as the fine cut trademark Interval. Company growth continued into the new year as PMI entered into an agreement with Swedish Match AB to establish a joint venture to commercialize Swedish style snus and other smoke-free tobacco products worldwide. Lastly, PMI entered into an agreement to purchase privately-owned Colombian cigarette manufacturer, Productora Tabacalera de Colombia, Protabaco Ltda. for $452 million.