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    R.J. Reynolds Buys Back Duty-Free Brand Rights

    The rights to top brands was sold to Japan Tobacco Inc. in 1999.

    WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.--After six years, the global marketing division of Reynolds American Inc. has bought back rights to sell some of its top brands, including Camel and Winston, in U.S. duty-free shops and overseas military outlets, according to an Associated Press report.

    "The addition of these strong brands to our portfolio will enable us to consolidate our marketing efforts to our U.S. adult smokers who purchase products in these two channels," Global Products President John A. Scarritt said in a prepared statement.

    The rights were sold to Japan Tobacco Inc. in 1999 when the company--then known as RJR Nabisco--spun off the international part of its business, Reynolds spokesman Craig Fishel said.

    The military and duty-free rights are being bought back by R.J. Reynolds Global Products Inc., a Reynolds American subsidiary. Japan Tobacco will retain other international rights to brands that also include Salem, Now, Vantage, More and Doral, according to company officials.

    Fishel declined to discuss financial details of the transaction or reveal how many cigarettes Reynolds American sells through duty-free and military outlets.

    Following last year's merger of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and Brown & Williamson Tobacco, R.J. Reynolds Global Products was formed to market B&W brands such as Kool, Dunhill, Lucky Strike and Pall Mall in duty-free shops, military outlets and some U.S. territories, according to the report.

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