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.