Imperial Tobacco Group PLC announced last Friday, June 12, that it has completed the purchase of certain US cigarette and e-cigarette brands and assets previously owned by Reynolds and Lorillard, Inc., following the proposed acquisition of Lorillard by Reynolds. Imperial first announced the prosed acquisition back in July 2014.
The assets have been acquired for a consideration of $7.1bn (£4.6bn) or $5.6bn (£3.6bn) after adjusting for the present value of expected tax benefits of c$1.5bn, and include the Winston, Kool and Salem brands, as well as Blu electronic cigarettes.
Imperial’s enlarged US business will be known as ITG Brands and will be headquartered in Greensboro, North Carolina, under an experienced management team led by CEO David Taylor, former CFO of Lorillard.
Alison Cooper, Chief Executive of Imperial Tobacco, said: “I’m delighted to announce the completion of this deal, which will transform our position in the US and generate significant returns for our shareholders. We will focus on leveraging our enhanced scale and capabilities to maximize growth opportunities for our portfolio and establish ITG Brands as a major competitive player in the US tobacco market. I’m also pleased to announce senior appointments that will strengthen our management structure and ensure that it is aligned with the Group’s on-going international development.”
Adding the new brands to its existing portfolio would make Imperial the third-largest player in the U.S. tobacco market, say published reports.