R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. will have the No. 2-4 U.S. traditional cigarette brands in Newport, Camel and Pall Mall http://cigarette-deals.com/pall-mall-cheap-cigarettes, respectively. Grizzly is the top-selling moist snuff brand, while Vuse has become the top-selling electronic cigarette in convenience stores. Natural American Spirit has emerged as a top-10 traditional cigarette brand.
Lorillard shareholders gain a 15 percent ownership stake in Reynolds. Murray Kessler, Lorillard’s top executive, would join Reynolds’ board of directors, as well as receive a “golden parachute” compensation package valued at $44.7 million.
The key to the FTC’s decision was the acceptance by the majority of panelists of Reynolds and Lorillard’s divestiture package. Imperial would buy Reynolds’ Winston, Salem and Kool brands, Lorillard’s Maverick brand and Lorillard’s blu eCigs. Imperial gains Lorillard’s Greensboro headquarters and the bulk of its 2,900-person workforce, including about 1,700 in Greensboro.
Imperial expects to grow its U.S. traditional cigarette market share from 3 percent to 10 percent with those brands, while some analysts say it could reach as high as 12 percent.
Howard said Lorillard employees shifting to Reynolds will do so Friday. He declined to say how many employees that would be, citing proprietary reasons.
“As has been stated on several occasions since we announced the agreements last July, we are pleased that almost all of our employees will be retaining their jobs, either by joining Reynolds or ITG immediately following closing,” said Robert Bannon, Lorillard’s industrial relations director.
At last count, Reynolds and its subsidiaries have between 2,000 and 2,200 of their 5,300 full-time and 100 part-time employees in Forsyth, the majority in Tobaccoville. Reynolds has declined in recent years to provide a local workforce update.