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STOCKHOLM: Swedish Match shares leapt to a record high on Tuesday after Marlboro-maker Philip Morris International Inc said it was in talks to buy the Stockholm-based company in a bet on the fast-growing market for cigarette alternatives.

The two companies confirmed media reports of the talks in separate statements after the Stockholm bourse closed on Monday, saying it was not certain an offer would be made.

Swedish Match makes most of its profit from Swedish-style snuff called “snus”, but its Zyn tobacco-free nicotine pouches are growing rapidly in Scandinavia and the United States. The company, tipped as a takeover candidate for years, estimates the US market for tobacco-free nicotine pouches doubled last year by volume, and that Zyn accounted for more than half of the market.

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