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British American Tobacco seeks to buy Reynolds American

The deal would form the world's largest publicly traded tobacco company.

By
Ed Adamczyk
British American Tobacco PLC, owners of 42.2 percent of tobacco maker Reynolds American Inc., announced a plan to buy the rest of Reynolds for $47 billion. Photo by underworld/Shutterstock
British American Tobacco PLC, owners of 42.2 percent of tobacco maker Reynolds American Inc., announced a plan to buy the rest of Reynolds for $47 billion. Photo by underworld/Shutterstock

LONDON, Oct. 21 (UPI) -- British American Tobacco said Friday it wants to buy the remaining 57.8 percent of tobacco manufacturer Reynolds American Inc. for $47 billion.

British American Tobacco, headquartered in London, already owns the other 42.2 percent of Reynolds, and completing the cash-and-shares purchase would merge the two companies and form the world's largest publicly traded tobacco company. The offer comes after Reynolds American acquired Lorillard Tobacco Co. for $27.4 billion in 2015, and after British American Tobacco merged its Brown & Williamson operations in the United States with R. J. Reynolds more than 10 years ago to form Reynolds American.

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The merger, if it succeeds, will unite brands including Camel, Lucky Strike, Newport and Pall Mall under one company, with a significant presence in the United States as in growing markets including South America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia, a company statement said. It added that current Reynolds shareholders other than BAT would receive $24.13 in cash and 0.5502 BAT shares for each Reynolds share. The $47 billion purchase price would include $20 billion in cash and $27 billion in BAT shares.

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