Sunday 20 August 2017

Reynolds American wants BAT to up offer

US tobacco firm Reynolds has reportedly rejected a 47 billion US dollar (£38.3 billion) takeover offer by BAT that would have created the world's largest listed tobacco company. Photo: PA
US tobacco firm Reynolds has reportedly rejected a 47 billion US dollar (£38.3 billion) takeover offer by BAT that would have created the world's largest listed tobacco company. Photo: PA

Ruth David

Reynolds American, the second-largest cigarette seller in the US, is seeking a higher price from British American Tobacco (BAT) after rejecting a $47bn (€43bn) buyout offer as too low, according to sources.

The tobacco giants are in talks and BAT is willing to increase the offer slightly, said sources, who asked not to be named because the details aren't public.

The transaction would let BAT overtake Philip Morris International as the world's largest publicly traded tobacco business.

BAT, which already owns 42pc of Reynolds, disclosed its proposal to acquire the rest of the company on October 21.

Richard Burrows, the chairman of British American Tobacco. Photo: Bloomberg
Richard Burrows, the chairman of British American Tobacco. Photo: Bloomberg

BAT is chaired by Richard Burrows, the former governor of the Bank of Ireland and chief executive of Irish Distillers.

Spokesmen for BAT and Reynolds declined to comment. BAT's shares rose 0.5pc in early London trading. Reynolds closed down 1pc at $53.05 (€49) Monday in New York.

"This is playing out as we expected," Mirco Badocco, an analyst at RBC Europe, said in a note. (Bloomberg)

Irish Independent

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