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    BAT & RAI Merger Gets Japan Antitrust Approval

    Deal still requires approval by shareholders.

    WINSTON-SALEM. N.C. — Reynolds American Inc. (RAI) and British American Tobacco plc (BAT) are one step closer to wrapping up their pending merger. 

    On April 5, Japanese authorities have granted unconditional antitrust approval to BAT in relation to its proposed acquisition of RAI, clearing the final antitrust hurdle.

    According to RAI, together with the previously announced expiration of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act waiting period, the conditions related to antitrust approvals required as part of the closing conditions to the proposed acquisition have now been satisfied.

    RAI continues to expect the transaction to close in the third quarter, subject to satisfaction or waiver of the other closing conditions specified in the merger agreement.

    In January, RAI and BAT reached a $49-billion deal to join forces.

    RAI agreed to be acquired by BAT in a cash and share transaction valued at $59.64 cents per share, which reflects a transaction price that is a 26.4-percent premium to the RAI stock price on Oct. 20, the day prior to publicly announcing BAT's initial proposal, as CSNews Online previously reported.

    BAT already owns 42.2 percent of RAI. When the deal closes, RAI will become the largest operating subsidiary of BAT.

    Winston-Salem-based RAI is the parent company of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.; Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co. Inc.; American Snuff Co. LLC; Niconovum USA Inc.; Niconovum AB; and R.J. Reynolds Vapor Co. Its brands include Newport, Camel, Natural American Spirit, Grizzly, ZONNIC and VUSE.

    London-based BAT is a global tobacco group with brands sold in more than 200 markets.  

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