Announced in January, this week shareholders approved the $49 billion deal
By NACS Online
In July, shareholders of both British American Tobacco (BAT) and Reynolds American put their stamp of approval on BAT buying Reynolds, a merger announced in January, the Chicago Tribune reports. Together, the two companies will become the world’s largest publicly traded tobacco firm. BAT already owned a minority share in Reynolds.
“We look forward to welcoming Reynolds group employees to British American Tobacco and to realizing the benefits of operating these two great companies as one stronger, global tobacco and ‘Next Generation Products’ business,” said Nicandro Durante, CEO of BAT.
The takeover provides BAT with more entry into the U.S. market, while also acquiring more vapor and nicotine replacement products. BAT estimated that $400 million would be saved in annual costs by better supply chain management, corporate operations consolidation and more purchasing control.
With the merger, BAT will acquire Reynolds’ brands Camel, Native American Spirit and Pall Mall cigarette brands, along with Newport menthol cigarettes, from which the company receives nearly half of its net sales. In 2004, BAT’s Brown & Williamson division merged with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. to become Reynolds American.