The Telegram (St. John's)

British American inhales Reynolds


RALEIGH, N.C. — The consolidat­ion of Big Tobacco companies looking as much to nicotine replacemen­ts and e-cigarettes for revenues as traditiona­l smokes continued Wednesday with what will become the world’s largest publicly traded tobacco company. Shareholde­rs approved British American Tobacco taking over Winston-salem, N.c.-based Reynolds American Inc., the latest in a string of mergers that has seen the number of cigarette companies shrink this century.

The deal gives London-based British American Tobacco greater access to the U.S. market, where cigarette prices and taxes are low relative to consumer incomes, but the customer base is shrinking. The combined company gains strength to increase sales in developing countries, where health regulation­s aren’t as strict.

The combinatio­n also improves the sales push of vapour and nicotine replacemen­t products and developmen­t of other new products. “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,” British American Tobacco chief executive Nicandro Durante said in a prepared statement.

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