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    Brown & Williamson Could Merge with RJR by End of Week

    Reynolds American to be nation's second-largest cigarette manufacturer.

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. could complete its planned merger with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Holdings Inc. by the end of the week, reported Louisville-based Business First.

    The final hurdle in the merger process, which will form Reynolds American Inc., is a vote by RJR shareholders during a special meeting on July 28. If shareholders approve the proposed merger, officials expect to establish Reynolds American as a publicly traded holding company by the end of July, according to a news release.

    Reynolds American will be the nation's second-largest cigarette manufacturer behind Philip Morris. The company will be based in Winston-Salem, N.C., with B&W president and CEO Susan Ivey holding the same positions within the merged company.

    As previously reported by Business First, officials expect most Louisville workers to be laid off or moved by the end of the year. The complete merger of the companies will take about 18 to 24 months, according to previous statements.

    B&W has about 450 workers at its headquarters in Louisville.

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