Deals & MarketsUSA’s biggest tobacco companies set to merge

USA’s biggest tobacco companies set to merge

Reynolds American and Lorillard, two of the largest tobacco companies in the US, are thought to have agreed on a price and are in the final stages of deal negotiations, it has been revealed.

Reynolds American and Lorillard, two of the largest tobacco companies in the US, are thought to have agreed on a price and are in the final stages of deal negotiations, it has been revealed.

The well-known cigarette brands Camel and Pall Mall are owned by Reynolds American, whilst Lorilland’s portfolio includes Old Gold, Maverick and Kent – as well as Newport menthols, which make up four fifths of its sales. Combined, the two companies have a market capitalisation of $56 billion, meaning that they can start to catch up with Philip Morris USA, whose Marlboro brand dominates 44% of the market.

The deal is expected to impact hugely on rivals in the UK, including British American Tobacco, which holds a 42% stake in Reynolds American. Imperial Tobacco has also announced that it intends to buy assets from the new group.

Bonnie Herzog, an analyst at Wells Fargo, told the Financial Times: “This transaction in our view will be very positive for the global tobacco industry and could be just the beginning of future transactions with e-cigs/vapour being the underlying catalyst.”

 

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