According to thisismoney.co.uk and dailymail.co.uk., Imperial Tobacco is to increase its stake in the US tobacco market to 10% by purchasing the brands Blu, Kool, Maverick, Salem, and Winston, in a deal worth US$7.1 billion. The cigarette brands were placed on sale as a byproduct of the merger between Reynolds American and Lorillard – respectively the second- and third-largest tobacco companies in America. Imperial Tobacco’s US arm will now generate 20% of its revenue.
Winston is regarded as a premium cigarette brand and Maverick a budget-cigarette producer; Salem and Kool are menthol cigarettes brands, and Blu an e-cigarette one.
Alison Cooper, Imperial Tobacco c.e.o., said: “I’m delighted to announce the completion of this deal, which will transform our position in the US and generate significant returns.”
Reynolds American Inc., owner of Camel cigarettes, is buying its longtime rival Lorillard, maker of Newport cigarettes, for US$27.4 billion. Founded in 1760, Lorillard is the oldest tobacco company in the US. Lorillard ceased to exist as of Friday, June 12, 2015.