British American Tobacco and Reynolds American have agreed to a merger that will see British American Tobacco purchase the 57.8 percent of Reynolds American that it does not own for $49 billion. If approved by shareholders and regulators, it will create the largest publicly-traded tobacco company.
The deal has little implications for the cigar industry, though British American Tobacco does own the Dunhill brand, which has premium cigars as well as cigarettes. Reynolds American has no premium cigar presence.
It does represent the latest in a fury of mergers and acquisitions in the larger tobacco industry and could speed up a rumored merger and takeover of Imperial Brands, plc by Japan Tobacco International.