25 July 2017
British American Tobacco p.l.c. ("BAT" or the "Company") is pleased to announce today the completion of the acquisition of the remaining 57.8% of Reynolds American Inc. ("Reynolds") the Company did not already own.
The acquisition creates a stronger, global tobacco and Next Generation Products company committed to delivering sustained long-term profit growth and returns. BAT now has a balanced presence in high growth emerging markets and high profitability developed markets, combined with direct access to the attractive US market. Increased access to a significant proportion of Group cash flows provides further support to the Company’s continued commitment to a dividend payout ratio of at least 65% and a strong financial profile, targeting a solid investment grade credit rating through progressive deleveraging.
BAT’s Chief Executive, Nicandro Durante commented:
“This is a transformational deal. We will take the best of the best from both businesses across all areas to create a stronger, more sustainable company. We are pleased to welcome Reynolds group employees to British American Tobacco and look forward to progressing what we are confident will be a smooth integration. Work has already begun to realise the projected cost synergies and we are committed to driving continued, sustainable profit growth and returns for shareholders long into the future.”
Completion of the acquisition
In accordance with the FCA Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules ("DTR"), subsequent to this share issue, the Company's issued share capital consists of 2,456,151,496 ordinary shares. The number of ordinary shares held in treasury is 162,645,590. Therefore, the total number of voting rights in the Company is 2,293,505,906.
This figure, 2,293,505,906, may be used by shareholders as the denominator for the calculations by which they will determine if they are required to notify their interest in, or a change to their interest in, the Company under the DTR.
BAT is a global tobacco group with brands sold in more than 200 markets. It employs more than 50,000 people worldwide and has over 200 brands in its portfolio, with its cigarettes chosen by around one in eight of the world’s one billion smokers. BAT has market leading positions in at least 55 markets around the world. The Group generated £5 billion adjusted profit from operations in 2016.
Centerview Partners, Deutsche Bank and UBS are acting as financial advisers to BAT. Deutsche Bank and UBS are joint corporate brokers to BAT and acting as joint sponsors to BAT in relation to the transaction described in this announcement. Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP and Herbert Smith Freehills LLP are acting for BAT as US and UK legal counsel respectively. PwC are acting as accountants and advisors to BAT on the transaction described in this announcement.
Centerview Partners UK LLP (“Centerview Partners”) is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom. Centerview Partners is acting exclusively for BAT and no one else in connection with the transaction described in this announcement. Centerview Partners will not regard any other person as its client in relation to the transaction described in this announcement and will not be responsible to any person other than BAT for providing the protections afforded to clients of Centerview Partners or for providing advice in relation to the transaction described in this announcement or any other matter referred to herein.
Deutsche Bank AG is authorised under German Banking Law (competent authority: European Central Bank) and, in the United Kingdom, by the Prudential Regulation Authority. It is subject to supervision by the European Central Bank and by BaFin, Germany’s Federal Financial Supervisory Authority, and is subject to limited regulation in the United Kingdom by the Prudential Regulation Authority and Financial Conduct Authority. Details about the extent of its authorisation and regulation by the Prudential Regulation Authority, and regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority, are available on request or from www.db.com/en/content/eu_disclosures.htm.
Deutsche Bank AG, acting through its London branch (“DB London”), and Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. (“DBSI” and with DB London, “DB”) are acting as joint financial adviser and DB London is acting as joint corporate broker and joint sponsor to BAT. DB are acting exclusively for BAT and no one else in connection with the transaction described in this announcement. DB will not regard any other person as their client in relation to the transaction described in this announcement and will not be responsible to any person other than BAT for providing the protections afforded to clients of DB or for providing advice in relation to the transaction described in this announcement or any other matter referred to herein.
UBS Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority in the United Kingdom. UBS Limited is acting exclusively for BAT and no one else in connection with the transaction described in this announcement. UBS Limited will not regard any other person as its client in relation to the transaction described in this announcement and will not be responsible to any person other than BAT for providing the protections afforded to clients of UBS Limited or for providing advice in relation to the transaction described in this announcement or any other matter referred to herein.
Apart from the responsibilities and liabilities, if any, which may be imposed on it by the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, none of Centerview Partners, DB or UBS Limited accepts any responsibility whatsoever and makes no representation or warranty, express or implied, as to the contents of this announcement, including its accuracy, fairness, sufficiency, completeness or verification or for any other statement made or purported to be made by it, or on its behalf, in connection with BAT or the transaction described in this announcement, and nothing in this announcement is, or shall be relied upon as, a promise or representation in this respect, whether as to the past or the future. Each of Centerview Partners, DB and UBS Limited accordingly disclaims to the fullest extent permitted by law all and any responsibility and liability whether arising in tort, contract or otherwise (save as referred to above) which it might otherwise have in respect of this announcement.
A copy of this announcement will be made available, subject to certain jurisdiction restrictions, on BAT's website at BATReynolds.transactionannouncement.com. For the avoidance of doubt, the contents of this website is not incorporated into and does not form part of this announcement.
The release, publication or distribution of this announcement in or into jurisdictions other than the United States, the United Kingdom or South Africa may be restricted by law and therefore any persons who are subject to the law of any jurisdiction other than the United States, the United Kingdom or South Africa should inform themselves about, and observe, any applicable legal or regulatory requirements. Any failure to comply with the applicable restrictions may constitute a violation of the securities laws of any such jurisdiction. To the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, the companies and persons involved in the transaction disclaim any responsibility or liability for the violation of such restrictions by any person.
Copies of this announcement and formal documentation relating to the transaction will not be and must not be, mailed or otherwise forwarded, distributed or sent in, into or from any jurisdiction outside of the United States, the United Kingdom and South Africa where such distribution, publication, availability or use would be contrary to law or regulation or which would require any registration or licensing within such jurisdiction. Doing so may render invalid any related purported vote in respect of the transaction.
Certain statements in this communication that are not historical facts are “forward-looking” statements made within the meaning of Section 21E of the United States Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These statements are often, but not always, made through the use of words or phrases such as “believe,” “anticipate,” “could,” “may,” “would,” “should,” “intend,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “will,” “expect,” “estimate,” “project,” “positioned,” “strategy,” “outlook” and similar expressions. All such forward-looking statements involve estimates and assumptions that are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual future financial condition, performance and results to differ materially from the plans, goals, expectations and results expressed in the forward-looking statements and other financial and/or statistical data within this communication. Among the key factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements are uncertainties related to the following: the failure to realize contemplated synergies and other benefits from mergers and acquisitions, including the merger of Reynolds and BAT; the effect of mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, including the merger of Reynolds and BAT, on BAT’s operating results and businesses generally; the ability to maintain credit ratings; changes in the tobacco industry and stock market trading conditions; changes or differences in domestic or international economic or political conditions; changes in tax laws and rates; the impact of adverse legislation and regulation; the ability to develop, produce or market new alternative products profitably; the ability to effectively implement strategic initiatives and actions taken to increase sales growth; the ability to enhance cash generation and pay dividends; adverse litigation and dispute outcomes; and changes in the market position, businesses, financial condition, results of operations or prospects of BAT.
Additional information concerning these and other factors can be found in BAT’s and Reynolds’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), including Reynolds’s most recent Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K and BAT’s registration statement on Form F-4, which was declared effective by the SEC on June 14, 2017, and Current Reports on Form 6-K, which may be obtained free of charge at the SEC’s website, http://www.sec.gov, and BAT’s Annual Reports, which may be obtained free of charge from BAT’s website www.BAT.com. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements that speak only as of the date hereof and BAT undertakes no obligation to update or revise publicly any forward-looking statements or other data or statements contained within this communication, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
This communication shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities, nor shall there be any sale of securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction. No offer of securities shall be made except by means of a prospectus meeting the requirements of Section 10 of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), or pursuant to an exemption from the registration requirement under Section 5 of the Securities Act.
This communication should not be construed as, investment advice and is not intended to form the basis of any investment decision, nor does it form the basis of any contract for acquisition or investment in any member of the BAT group, financial promotion or any offer, invitation or recommendation in relation to any acquisition of, or investment in, any member of the BAT group.
If you are in any doubt about the contents of this announcement or the action you should take, you are recommended to seek your own independent personal financial advice immediately from your stockbroker, bank manager, solicitor, accountant, fund manager or other appropriate independent financial adviser duly authorised under the UK Financial Services and Market Act 2000 (as amended) if you are resident in the United Kingdom or, if not, from another appropriately authorised independent financial adviser.