Imperial Brands Buying UK Nicotine Liquids Maker Nerudia

LONDON — Imperial Brands is buying Nerudia, a UK maker of nicotine liquids for e-cigarettes, as the British tobacco company seeks to expand its portfolio of cigarette alternatives.

"Nerudia is a young and dynamic business and we're delighted to confirm an acquisition which significantly enhances our innovation capabilities in the next generation products sector," an Imperial spokesman said on Wednesday.

Four-year-old Nerudia manufactures nicotine liquids used in e-cigarettes and provides services to help gain regulatory compliance in the vaping industry in Europe and the United States. A spokeswoman for the Liverpool-based company was not available for immediate comment.

Imperial Brands - maker of Kool, Winston and Gauloises cigarettes - lags larger rivals Philip Morris International and British American Tobacco in the nascent vaping market.

It has so far stuck to e-cigarettes that use liquid, whereas the others are also rolling out tobacco-based vaping devices.

The Imperial spokesman declined to disclose the value of the deal.

Imperial shares were up 0.8 percent at 1254 GMT in London, outperforming the FTSE 100, which was up 0.2 percent.

(Reporting by Martinne Geller; editing by Louise Heavens and Jason Neely)

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