Victory, FIN Branding Create Independent E-Cigarette Company

SPRING LAKE, Mich. -- Victory Electronic Cigarettes Corp. and FIN Branding Group have agreed to a merger that will create one of the largest independent electronic cigarette companies. The newly formed entity will create an enterprise with 2014 sales on track to far surpass $100 million.

According to a release, the new company will leverage the FIN brand and sales and marketing depth of the FIN organization, with the supply chain capabilities, international reach and financial strength of Victory. The deal is expected to close in the next few weeks.

The merger marks the second notable transaction for Victory in the past month. The Spring Lake-based company recently acquired VAPESTICK, an electronic cigarette company in Europe, for $70 million through a combination of cash and stock, as CSNews Online previously reported.

In addition, Victory formed a partnership with Fields Texas Ltd. to drive global distribution and strategic retail expansion. The addition of FIN brings instant acceleration of scale and distribution in the United States, significantly upgrades the global leadership team, and furthers the company's efforts to consolidate the electronic cigarette industry globally, according to Victory.

Fields Texas Limited LLC is a private holding company owned and operated by William Fields.

Atlanta-based FIN has distribution in more than 50,000 outlets across all major channels in the United States -- including 7-11, Circle K, Murphy USA, Stripes and MAPCO Express.

"FIN is a powerhouse in the U.S. with a great brand, great presence and great growth trends. Their strength in sales and marketing is unmatched, and their management team is impressive," said Brent Willis, chairman and CEO of Victory.

"Elliot Maisel, FIN's chairman and CEO, is hugely respected and has a tremendous track record of success both in the beer industry and in leading FIN to become one of the preeminent e-cig companies in the U.S. He is going to be a great partner as we combine efforts together with Bill Fields, Michael Clapper and others to build the world's largest independent electronic cigarette company," he added.

The combination of Victory and FIN provides the group greater strength to compete in the rapidly evolving and competitive e-cigarette category. The new entity has established a convergence committee to identify and capture major cost and revenue synergies in the areas of people and culture, cost efficiency, and sales, distribution and marketing.

Each of the convergence areas has dedicated work teams to identify and capture significant synergies. To date, teams have identified more than $5 million of revenue synergies resulting from expanding distribution of both brands and employing a dual brand strategy. In cost synergies, more than $10 million of savings have been identified in the areas of production, supply chain and marketing spend effectiveness, all of which are expected to be achieved within 12 months of closing, according to Victory.

"The combination of the FIN and Victory brands provides an incredible one-two punch for distributors, retailers and consumers, and an opportunity to further increase shareholder value by capturing significant cost and revenue synergies," Maisel said. "The combination of the FIN and Victory organizations, coupled with the leadership of Field's Texas and VAPESTICK in Europe, creates a company with greater potential and growth opportunity than any other competitor in the industry."


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