In response to U.K. disclosure obligations, today Imperial Tobacco PLC issued an announcement describing certain discussions among Imperial, Reynolds American Inc. (RAI) and Lorillard Inc. Reynolds and Lorillard confirmed the talks.
Reynolds American said it is in discussions regarding a possible acquisition of Lorillard. British American Tobacco (BAT), RAI’s largest shareholder, is participating in the discussions.
Greensboro, N.C.-based Lorillard Inc. also confirmed the potential sale of certain assets and brands owned by RAI and Lorillard to Imperial.
No agreement has been reached and there can be no assurances that any transactions will result, the companies said. RAI and Lorrillard said they will not comment further unless circumstances warrant them doing so.
If the transaction proceeds, BAT expects to support the transaction by subscribing for additional shares in RAI and would maintain its existing 42 percent equity position in RAI. Imperial also is involved in these negotiations as a possible purchaser of brands and other assets from Lorillard and RAI.
Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Reynolds American Inc. is the parent company of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., American Snuff Co., Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co., Niconovum USA, Niconovum AB and R.J. Reynolds Vapor Co.
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. is the second-largest U.S. tobacco company. Its brands include Camel and Pall Mall, two of the best-selling cigarettes in the U.S. These brands, and its other brands, including Winston, Kool, Doral, Salem, Misty and Capri, are manufactured in a variety of styles and marketed in the U.S.
American Snuff Co. is the nation’s second-largest manufacturer of smokeless tobacco products. Its leading brands are Grizzly and Kodiak.
Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co. manufactures and markets Natural American Spirit 100% additive-free natural tobacco products, including styles made with organic tobacco.
Niconovum USA and Niconovum AB market nicotine replacement therapy products in the U.S. and Sweden, respectively, under the Zonnic brand name.
R.J. Reynolds Vapor Co. makes and markets VUSE e-cigarettes.
Lorillard, through its Lorillard Tobacco Co. subsidiary, is the third largest manufacturer of cigarettes in the U.S. Founded in 1760, Lorillard Tobacco also is the oldest continuously operating tobacco company in the U.S. Newport, Lorillard’s flagship premium cigarette brand, is the top selling menthol and second largest selling cigarette in the U.S. In addition to Newport, the Lorillard product line has four additional cigarette brand families marketed under the Kent, True, Maverick and Old Gold brand names. Through its other subsidiaries, Lorillard also is a leading global electronic cigarette company, marketed under the blu eCigs and SKYCIG brands.