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Two Deals Shake Up Tobacco Industry

In two major developments this week, British American Tobacco (BAT) and Reynolds American Inc. agreed to merge, while the Altria Group agreed to purchase Nat Sherman.

BAT will acquire the remaining 57.8 percent of Reynolds it does not already own.

BAT-Logo-“Our combination with Reynolds will benefit from utilizing the best talent from both organizations. It will create a stronger, global tobacco and NGP (Next Generation Products) business with direct access for our products across the most attractive markets in the world,” said BAT’s chief executive Nicandro Durante.

According to the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), in the U.S. market Reynolds has three out of the four top-selling cigarette brands, and the benefits from the Lorillard acquisition have given Reynolds a 34 percent cigarette market share, with Newport as the leading brand in menthol, Pall Mall as the leading value brand and Natural American Spirit as the fastest-growing premium brand. Reynolds’ American Snuff subsidiary also has a 33 percent share of the growing moist snuff segment, led by its Grizzly brand.

BAT and Reynolds anticipate the transaction to close during 2017’s third quarter.

Nat Sherman sells super-premium cigarettes and premium cigars; it joins Philip Morris USA Inc. and John Middleton Co. as part of Altria’s smokeable products segment.Nat-Sherman-Logo-

“Nat Sherman has a terrific brand portfolio, which complements Altria’s existing smokeable product segment,” said Marty Barrington, Altria’s chairman, CEO and president. “Nat Sherman will benefit from the retail distribution, brand management and adult tobacco consumer engagement expertise of Altria’s companies.”

Nat Sherman was founded in 1930 as a family-owned and operated business. Nat Sherman cigarettes are manufactured in Greensboro, North Carolina, and currently are in limited distribution throughout the U.S. The company also operates a flagship store in New York City.

Altria’s subsidiaries include Philip Morris USA Inc., U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co. LLC, John Middleton Co., Nu Mark LLC Ste., Michelle Wine Estates Ltd. and Philip Morris Capital Corp. Altria holds an equity investment in Anheuser-Busch InBev.

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Featured Photo PLMA Annual Private Label Trade Show
Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
Chicago, Illinois
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