BAT acquires RAI

British American Tobacco plc said yesterday it had completed the acquisition of the 57.8 percent of Reynolds American Inc. it did not already own.

According to a press note posted on BAT’s website, the acquisition creates a stronger, global supplier of tobacco and next generation products ‘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 US market,’ the note said.

‘Increased access to a significant proportion of group cash flows provides further support to the company’s continued commitment to a dividend pay-out ratio of at least 65 percent and a strong financial profile, targeting a solid investment grade credit rating through progressive deleveraging.’

BAT’s chief executive Nicandro Durante described the acquisition as a “transformational deal”.

“We will take the best of the best from both businesses across all areas to create a stronger, more sustainable company,” he was quoted as saying.

“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.

“Work has already begun to realise the projected cost synergies and we are committed to driving continued, sustainable profit growth and returns for shareholders long into the future.”

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