Allen & Overy advises Imperial Tobacco on $7.1bn acquisition of tobacco cigarette brands

Allen & Overy has advised Imperial Tobacco on its $7.1bn (£4.1bn) acquisition of the US Winston, Kool, Salem and Maverick tobacco cigarette brands and the US/UK blu e-cigarette brand from Reynolds American following its acquisition of Lorillard — tripling Imperial’s US market share.

Reynolds has agreed to sell these brands to Imperial on the closing of the Lorillard acquisition in order to assuage potential antitrust concerns, in a deal that will combine the US’s second- and third-largest tobacco companies.

As part of the deal, British American Tobacco will inject $4.7bn into the combined Reynolds/Lorillard entity in order to maintain the size of its 42 per cent stake.

The Reynolds/Lorillard transaction and the Imperial acquisition are both conditional on antitrust clearance by the Federal Trade Commission, which is expected to take at least six to nine months.

The transaction is being led by a joint UK/US team headed by corporate partners Jeremy Parr in London and Eric Shube in New York. Support in New York is being provided by associates Michael Maier, Loren Thomas, Leah Sauter, Natalie Montano, Jochem Beurskens and Erynne Lim, while support in London is being provided by senior associates Sarah Shaw and Mark Davies, associates Ash Tiwari, Akshay Agrawal and Kaylee Lemieux and trainees Thomas Betts and Sophie Small.

Antitrust advice is being provided by New York partner Elaine Johnston with support from David Ernst and Desma Polydorou.

The banking aspect of the transaction is being led by London banking partner George Link with support from Ian Roebuck, Kenneth Ching, Abira Gupta, Arun Mal and Harpreet Boora.

The expected pre-closing bond refinancing will be led by London partners Stephen Miller and Sachin Davé with support from Katy Reed and Tracy Tong. Further specialist advice is being provided by Jim Ford, Nicola Dagg, Madelin Sinclair, Tom Brazier, Steven Baldwin and George Luther (intellectual property); Brian Jebb, Shira Selengut and Mark Sorensen (employment and pensions); Dave Lewis and Brian Schultz (tax); and Ken Rivlin, Molly Watters, Maria Bell and Allie Cheatham (environmental and regulatory).

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