Imperial Tobacco to Call Greensboro Home
GREENSBORO, N.C. — Imperial Tobacco Group has made it official. The tobacco company will make its U.S. home in Greensboro.
This news has been expected since Imperial revealed in July that it would acquire some U.S. brands and assets as part of the Reynolds American Inc. (RAI) and Lorillard Inc. merger. The transaction is subject to approval by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the companies’ respective shareholders.
Under the structure, Winston-Salem, N.C.-based RAI will buy Greensboro-based Lorillard for $27.4 billion. After that transaction closes, Imperial Tobacco will pay $7.1 billion for the Winston, Kool and Salem brands from RAI and the Maverick and blu eCig brands from Lorillard, as CSNews Online previously reported.
In addition, United Kingdom-based Imperial Tobacco will acquire Lorillard's infrastructure, which includes the company's manufacturing facility, headquarters offices, research and development facility, and approximately 2,900 employees.
These acquisitions will build on Imperial's existing U.S. portfolio at Commonwealth-Altadis, which currently accounts for a 3-percent share of the U.S. market, principally through the USA Gold brand. The deal will make Imperial Tobacco the third-largest tobacco company in the United States with a 10-percent share of the cigarette market.
Following consummation of the acquired brands and assets, the new company will be based at Lorillard's current headquarters: 714 Green Valley Road in Greensboro. The headquarters will be home to Lorillard employees and a number of Commonwealth-Altadis employees who will relocate from Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Imperial Tobacco also has a number of employees at its factory in Reidsville, N.C.
"It makes the most sense to make the headquarters of the new company in Greensboro, in a building we will own outright when the transaction is completed. This wonderful facility is in the heart of tobacco country, near our factories and has the infrastructure to accommodate the enlarged business," Imperial Tobacco said in a statement. "We are discussing relocation with our employees in Fort Lauderdale and when we are in a position to give further updates on the transaction, we will."