BAT's Acquisition of Reynolds a Done Deal
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Reynolds American Inc. (RAI) is now officially an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of British American Tobacco plc (BAT).
The move comes as BAT wrapped up its acquisition of the remaining 57.8 percent of RAI it did not previously own in a $49-billion deal struck between the two companies in January.
According to BAT, the acquisition creates a stronger, global tobacco and Next Generation Products company committed to delivering sustained long-term profit growth and returns.
BAT now has a balanced presence in high growth emerging markets and high profitability developed markets, combined with direct access to the attractive U.S. market, the company added.
"This is a transformational deal. We will take the best of the best from both businesses across all areas to create a stronger, more sustainable company. We are pleased to welcome Reynolds group employees to British American Tobacco and look forward to progressing what we are confident will be a smooth integration," said BAT's Chief Executive Nicandro Durante.
"Work has already begun to realize the projected cost synergies and we are committed to driving continued, sustainable profit growth and returns for shareholders long into the future," Durante added.
Among the immediate changes post acquisition, RAI shares are no longer trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and will be delisted from the NYSE as soon as practicable. In addition, Lionel L. Nowell, Holly Keller Koeppel and Luc Jobin join the BAT board of directors as of July 21. All three previously served on RAI's board.
Nowell was the lead independent director of RAI's board since January 2017, having served as a director since 2007. He was a member of the Compensation and Leadership Development Committee and the Corporate Governance and Nominating Committee. He retired as senior vice president and treasurer of PepsiCo Inc. in 2009, where he had held senior financial executive roles since 1999.
Keller Koeppel was an independent director on the RAI's board since 2008. She was chair of the Regulatory, Sustainability and Public Policy Committee and a member of the Audit and Finance Committee. She is a senior advisor to Corsair Capital LLC, where she served as managing partner and co-head of Infrastructure from 2015 until her retirement in 2017.
Jobin was an independent director on RAI's board since 2008. He was a member of the Audit and Finance Committee. He is president and CEO of Canadian National Railway Co., a position he has held since 2016, having served as executive vice president and chief financial officer since 2009.
"We have been shareholders in Reynolds since 2004 and I would like to acknowledge the key role played by all directors of Reynolds in making Reynolds the success it is today," said BAT Chairman Richard Burrows.
Based in Winston-Salem, RAI is the parent company of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co. Inc., American Snuff Co. LLC, Niconovum USA Inc., Niconovum AB and R.J. Reynolds Vapor Co.
London-based BAT is a global tobacco group with brands sold in more than 200 markets.