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British American Tobacco proposes $47B Reynolds merger

British American Tobacco announced plans Friday to buy the stake that it doesn’t already own of tobacco firm Reynolds American Inc. for $47 billion.

London-headquartered BAT already owns 42.2% of the Winston-Salem, N.C. headquartered-firm, which manufactures Camel cigarettes. It wants to acquire the remaining 57.8% at $56.50 per share — $24.13 in cash and $32.37 in BAT shares.

BAT, which is behind brands including Dunhill, Lucky Strike and Pall Mall, said the merger would create a stronger, “truly global” company with a leading position in the U.S. market and a significant presence in South America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

“We have been a shareholder in Reynolds since its creation in 2004 and have benefited from its growth in the US market,” said Nicandro Durante, chief executive of BAT.

“The proposed merger of our two great companies is the logical progression in our relationship.”

BAT’s shares advanced about 3% in London after the announcement.

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