South Korean tobacco company KT&G said Thursday it had bought a controlling stake in Indonesian firm Trisakti to tap into one of the world's biggest markets.
KT&G on July 14 signed a deal to buy a 60 percent stake in Indonesia's sixth-largest tobacco firm for 140 billion won ($132.6 million), the company said in a statement.
Trisakti sold three billion sticks of cigarettes last year, KT&G said, citing a confidentiality agreement for its refusal to give more details of the deal.
The Southeast Asian nation of some 240 million people has one of the world's highest smoking rates with almost 70 percent of men aged over 20 indulging.
KT&G sought to benefit from Trisakti's sales networks and production of kretek, a clove cigarette popular among Indonesian smokers, the Maeil Business Newspaper quoted a senior executive as saying.
"We saw Trisakti's business potential due to its share of more than 90 percent in the local kretek market," it quoted KT&G executive Kang Cheol-Ho as saying in a meeting with investors on Wednesday.
KT&G, a former state-run monopoly once known as Korea Tobacco and Ginseng, was privatised in 2002. It has about 60 percent of South Korea's tobacco market.