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On Tuesday, British American Tobacco announced that its bigger offer to acquire the remaining stake in Reynolds American that it already did not own was accepted. The $49 billion deal would create a giant in the tobacco industry with strong presence worldwide.
When the deal closes, the largest publicly traded business dedicated to tobacco in the world will be formed, based upon net sales. It would bring together companies that include brands such as Camel, Newport, Pall Mall and Lucky Strike.
This comes at a time the industry is facing a shift toward what are called next-generation products such as vaping products and e-cigarettes.
The agreement is close to three months after the first buy offer from British American Tobacco was given to Reynolds American for the 57.8% stake it does not own. At that time, BAT offered $47 billion.
CEO of BAT Nicandro Durante said buying the remaining stake of Reynolds American will create a much stronger, global tobacco as well as next-generation products business with access for the company’s products in the global markets that are most attractive.
Durante added that the company believes this purchase will continued to drive sustainable growth in profit and returns for our shareholders for the long-term.
Under its offer of cash and shares, BAT will pay $59.64 per share for Reynolds American, which represents a premium of 26% over the closing prices of Reynolds prior to the first offer back in October.
The new entity would have a big share of the U.S. market along with a major presence in Asia, Africa, South America, and the Middle East, said a BAT spokesperson.
BAT added it is expecting annual savings of $400 million before the end of the third year following the completion of the deal.
The boards for both companies will give a recommendation to shareholders to approve the deal, said officials from both companies.
The deal is subject as well to regulatory approval and is expected to be completed sometime during the 2017 third quarter.
The agreement, which has a breakup fee of $1 billion, came over 2 and one-half years after the acquisition by Reynolds of Lorillard a rival for $27.4 billion. That deal closed during 2015.
The formation of Reynolds American took place over a decade ago when BAT merged its U.S. Brown & Williamson operation with R.J. Reynolds.