Imperial Brands Disposes of Its U.S. OTP Business

Logo for tobacco company Imperial Brands plc

GREENSBORO. N.C. — Imperial Brands plc is progressing on its goal to streamline its portfolio by selling off its other tobacco products (OTP) division in the United States.

According to the tobacco company, the division includes a range of products including roll-your-own brands, tubes, tips, cigarette papers, and other accessories.

This disposal simplifies Imperial Brands' portfolio in the U.S., and enables the company to further sharpen its focus on driving revenue growth in the market from its core U.S. tobacco brands and next generation products.

"We are clear on our strategic priorities and focus for growth and are proactively actioning capital reallocation opportunities to generate additional shareholder value," said Imperial Brands' Chief Executive Alison Cooper.

The move is a result of Imperial Brands' ongoing review of its assets, she added.

"In next-generation products, we are focused on delivering an exceptional consumer experience and we are investing behind an exciting innovation pipeline. Our product and market launch programs are on track with the recent launches of myblu in the [U.S.] and the U.K., with additional markets coming on stream in the next few months," she explained.

"In tobacco, our investment focus continues to deliver share gains in our growth Brands and priority markets," Cooper added.

Based in the United Kingdom, Imperial Brands is the parent of Greensboro, N.C.-based ITG Brands LLC. In November 2016, the tobacco company said it planned to spend approximately $930 million over the next three years to make its business more streamlined and efficient, as CSNews Onlinepreviously reported.

Part of the company's simplification strategy was to reduce the number of brands it sells. At the time, Imperial Brands' portfolio consisted of 184 brands, but its goal was to pare that dumber down to around 125 or less. 

Last year, Imperial acquired several U.S. brands as part of the Reynolds American Inc. and Lorillard Inc. merger. The deal boosted Imperial, and its U.S.-subsidiary ITG Brands, to the No. 3 player in the U.S. tobacco industry. Under the deal, Imperial purchased the KOOL, Salem, Winston, Maverick and blu eCigs brands, as well as other assets and liabilities for $7.1 billion in cash.