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British American Tobacco turns to ecigarettes to stay ahead but share price closed on five-day low

British American Tobacco (BAT) yesterday signed a conditional agreement to buy ecigarette manufacturer CHIC for an undisclosed sum.

BAT hopes to extend its reach through Europe and expand beyond its tobacco cigarettes to make the most of the growing ecigarette movement – which are widely viewed as a healthier option.

CHIC, Poland’s e-cigarette market-leader, makes brands including Volish and has an e-liquids production plant as well as research and development labs.

The proposed acquisition is subject to approval from the Polish anti-trust authority.

BAT also announced it has signed a vapour products research and technology-sharing deal with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco.

Vapour technologies provide nicotine via aerosols in products.

The alliance provides a framework for mutual cross-licensing of vapour product technologies up to 31 December 2022. The collaboration also includes joint R&D projects.

Investors were less convinced by the move, and BAT shares closed down 2.8 per cent, a five-day low.

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