Business briefs: Cigarette smuggling

Sales of smuggled and counterfeited cigarettes sold on the black market last year accounted for 10.7 percent of total global tobacco sales, and their sale costs governmentsmore than $40 billion each year in unpaid taxes, according to findings released in Bangkok by experts at an inter-

national conference being held there this week.

HILTON HOTELS

Hilton Hotels Corporation (HLT) has entered into a definitive merger agreement with The Blackstone Group’s (BX) real estate and corporate private equity funds in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $26 billion. Under the terms of the agreement, Blackstone will acquire all the outstanding common stock of Hilton for $47.50 per share.

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