TOKYO, Sept. 29, 2015 /CNW/ - Japan Tobacco Inc. (JT) (TSE: 2914) announced today that the JT Group has entered into an agreement with the Reynolds American Inc. group of companies ("RAI") to acquire the Natural American Spirit business outside the United States which includes the trademarks and all outstanding shares of RAI's subsidiaries outside the U.S. which sell the brand. The transaction is expected to be completed by early 2016.
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Since its launch in the U.S. in 1982 by Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company, Inc., the Natural American Spirit brand has provided a unique product offering and established a special brand positioning as the only truly global "additive free", premium cigarette with a marketing theme that is environmentally conscious and socially progressive. The brand has enjoyed strong growth momentum in the U.S., Japan, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, the U.K. and others.
"Natural American Spirit, which has a strong and international presence in a premium priced category, will allow the JT Group to further extend its brand portfolio. This strong and unique brand equity combined with an energetic and experienced team of people will further strengthen our Group's business foundation," said Mitsuomi Koizumi, President and Chief Executive Officer of the JT Group.
Notably in Japan, which now accounts for the majority of the sales volume worldwide excluding the U.S., the brand has experienced significant growth. This investment will underpin the Group's sustainable long-term profit growth in this highly competitive market.
The existing operations of the acquired companies will be expected to remain unchanged in order to fully benefit from their extensive knowledge and experience.
Japan Tobacco Inc. is a leading international tobacco company. Its products are sold in over 120 countries and its internationally recognized brands include Winston, Camel, Mevius and LD. With diversified operations, JT is also actively present in pharmaceuticals and processed foods. The company's revenue was ¥2.154 trillion (US$17,867 million(*)) in the fiscal year ended December 31, 2014(**).
*Translated at the rate of ¥120.55 per $1, as of December 31, 2014
**Due to a change in the accounting period from March 31 to December 31, the fiscal year 2014 covered nine months for Japanese domestic businesses and 12 months for the consolidated subsidiaries which operate the Group's international tobacco business. On a comparable full calendar year basis, revenue was ¥2.433 trillion (US$20,186 million(*)).
SOURCE Japan Tobacco Inc
For further information: Ryohei Sugata, General Manager, Media and Investor Relations Division, Japan Tobacco Inc., Tokyo: +81-3-5572-4292, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Eva Hoeffelman, Media Relations, JTI, +41-22-703-0291, E-mail: email@example.com