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    R.J. Reynolds Gets Green Light

    FTC grants clearance for acquisition of Santa Fe Natural Tobacco.


    WASHINGTON -- R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Holdings Inc. (RJR) received antitrust clearance from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for its proposed acquisition of Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co.

    The agency said yesterday that it granted the companies early termination of the waiting period required under the Hart-Scott Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.

    On Dec. 11, R.J. Reynolds agreed to acquire Santa Fe, manufacturer of superpremium American Spirit cigarettes, for $340 million in cash following a bidding war with Canada's Rothman's Inc.

    After the companies close the deal, planned for January, Santa Fe Natural Tobacco will operate as a wholly owned independent unit of R.J. Reynolds.

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