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British American Tobacco Buys CHIC Group, Signs Deal With RJ Reynolds

LONDON (Alliance News) – British American Tobacco PLC on Tuesday said it has bought the CHIC Group, the market leading e-cigarette business in Poland, and said it has signed a vapour products technology-sharing term sheet with the US’s RJ Reynolds Tobacco Co.

The tobacco company said that the CHIC Group has 800 points of sale in Poland, a dedicated e-liquids production facility, a modern research and development centre and leading Polish e-cigarette brands including VOLISH, P1, Provog, Cottien, LiQueen and Aromativ.

It did not say how much the acquisition would cost.

“Acquiring the CHIC Group is strategically significant and makes commercial sense. It provides BAT with scale and market reach through Europe’s largest e-cigarette retailing network, as well as important manufacturing and research & development capabilities. It further demonstrates our commitment to the next generation products category,” Managing Director of NGP Kingsley Wheaton said in a statement.

BAT added that the term sheet it has signed with RJ Reynolds provides a framework for collaboration and mutual cross-licensing of the parties’ vapour product technologies up to the end of 2022.

The collaboration also includes joint R&D activities and co-operation on regulatory, scientific and manufacturing issues relating to vapour products.

RJ Reynolds is a subsidiary of tobacco company Reynolds American Inc, in which BAT holds a 42% stake, a holding it maintained following the USD27.4 billion acquisition of Lorillard Inc by Reynolds earlier this year.

“Today, we’ve announced two significant milestones to enhance our next generation product business globally, further enabling us to meet the demands of today’s consumer,” Wheaton added.

Shares in BAT were trading down 1.6% at 3,501.50 pence Tuesday morning.

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