Japan Tobacco Inc. has announced that the JT Group will acquire the Reynolds American Inc.’s Natural American Spirit business outside the United States. The deal includes the trademarks and all outstanding shares of RAI’s subsidiaries outside the U.S. which sell the brand. The transaction is expected to be completed by early 2016.
Launched in the U.S. in 1982 by Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company, Inc., the Natural American Spirit brand has provided a unique product offering and established a special brand positioning as the only truly global “additive free”, premium cigarette with a marketing theme that is environmentally conscious and socially progressive, reports the company.
The brand has enjoyed strong growth momentum in the U.S., Japan, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, the U.K. and others.
“Natural American Spirit, which has a strong and international presence in a premium priced category, will allow the JT Group to further extend its brand portfolio. This strong and unique brand equity combined with an energetic and experienced team of people will further strengthen our Group’s business foundation,” said Mitsuomi Koizumi, President and Chief Executive Officer of the JT Group.
The brand has experienced significant growth, notably in Japan, which accounts for the majority of the sales volume worldwide excluding the U.S.
The existing operations of the acquired companies will be expected to remain unchanged in order to fully benefit from their extensive knowledge and experience, says JTI in its statement.