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GREENSBORO, N.C. — David Taylor, executive vice president of finance and planning and chief financial officer of Lorillard Inc., will serve as chief executive of ITG Brands LLC following the merger of Lorillard and Reynolds American Inc. (RAI) and their subsequent brand divestitures to ITG.
ITG will be a newly formed subsidiary of Imperial Tobacco Group. RAI has entered into an agreement with Imperial Tobacco under which Imperial has agreed to purchase the KOOL, Salem, Winston, Maverick and blu eCigs brands, as well as other assets and liabilities for $7.1 billion in cash.
Taylor’s appointment will be effective immediately upon the closing of the transactions, which remain subject to regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions. Both transactions are expected to close, at substantially the same time, in the first half of 2015.
Taylor has served as Lorillard's executive vice president of finance and planning and CFO since January 2008. Prior to joining Lorillard, he was a senior managing director with FTI Palladium Partners, a firm specializing in providing interim management services. In that capacity, he served as interim chief financial officer of Eddie Bauer Holdings Inc. from January 2006 to November 2007.
"David has been instrumental in building Lorillard's outstanding track record of growth, which culminated in the exciting transactions we announced last summer," Murray Kessler, Lorillard's chairman, president and CEO, said in a statement released Thursday.
"David's appointment is a testament to all he has achieved at Lorillard. He has been working closely with the team at Imperial in preparing for the launch of ITG Brands, and I know he will succeed as the head of that business,” Kessler continued. “As we work to complete the transactions, I look forward to continuing to work together with David as we execute on Lorillard's strategy and deliver performance."
Taylor said “it is an honor” to be named chief executive of ITG Brands.
"I am proud of what we have accomplished at Lorillard and excited about the future ahead as we look to create an outstanding new business that brings Imperial's success to the U.S.," he added.
In addition, Imperial Tobacco announced Thursday that Martin Orlowsky, who had joined the British tobacco maker as executive chairman, voluntarily resigned due to differences with the company’s management style. Orlowsky is a former chairman, president and CEO of Lorillard.
“I’m delighted to confirm the appointment of David and would like to thank Marty for the tremendous contribution he has made throughout the deal process,” said Alison Cooper, chief executive of Imperial Tobacco Group. “David has a great track record of success and possesses the right skills and expertise to lead ITG Brands.”
Cooper additionally noted that the company’s commercial and operational plans are well-advanced and it continues to make excellent progress with integration planning.
“Regulatory approval for the deal is expected in the spring and under David’s leadership, we look forward to establishing ITG Brands as a major competitive player in the U.S. tobacco market,” she said.