Reynolds to buy Lorillard

by Jeff Sykes

Major cigarette brands Camel and Newport will be made by the same company after Reynolds American buys Greensboro-based Lorillard in a deal valued at $27.4 billion.

RAI announced the move after weeks of speculation and concern about the impact consolidation would have on employment levels in the combined company.

As part of the move, UK-based Imperial Tobacco will acquire Lorillard’s facilities and employees in Greensboro.

As part of the divestiture, Imperial will acquire certain assets owned by Lorillard including its manufacturing and R&D facilities in Greensboro, N.C., and approximately 2,900 employees, including a national sales force, RAI said in a press statement. The closing of the sale of these assets to Imperial is conditioned upon, among other things, RAI’s completion of the acquisition of Lorillard.

Imperial will also acquire brands KOOL, Salem, Winston, Maverick and blu eCigs in an effort to ease federal regulatory concerns.

Read the full press release from RAI here.

Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan released a statement late Tuesday morning concerning the impact the deal could have on Lorillard’s presence in the city.

“I certainly understand the business and economics aspect of this deal, but the Lorillard brand will be dearly missed in the Greensboro community, Vaughan said. My focus continues to be on the 2900 employees of Lorillard and I remain hopeful that company leaders will hold true to their commitment to retain as many jobs as possible. I also encourage Reynolds and Imperial Tobacco to maintain the high level of corporate generosity that Lorillard was long known for in the Greensboro community.”