Imperial Brands, plc—the parent company of Altadis U.S.A., JR Cigar, Casa de Montecristo and others—has announced a planned £2 billion ($2.78 billion) divestiture of various parts of its business.
The company has not announced which parts of its business it plans on selling. In addition to its U.S. premium cigar business, Imperial also holds a 50 percent stake in Habanos S.A., the Cuban cigar marketing and distribution company. It also owns partial stakes in dozens of Cuban cigar distributors around the world.
However, Imperial’s largest business is cigarettes.
It owns the rights to cigarette brands such as Gauloises, Kool, John Player & Sons, West, Winston and Davidoff. (Davidoff cigars are owned by Oettinger Davidoff AG, Imperial is the holder of the Davidoff cigarettes license.) In addition to cigarettes, it owns blu e-cigarettes, roll-your-own tobacco brands such as Golden Virginia and Rizla+, a rolling paper brand. Imperial also owns a majority stake in Logista, a European distribution company.
“As we sharpen our focus on the brands, products and markets that are central to our strategy, we are progressing opportunities for divestments, initially targeting proceeds of up to £2 billion within the next 12-24 months,” said Alison Cooper, ceo of Imperial, in the company’s most recent results. “This will further simplify the business, enhance performance and release capital to pay down debt, deliver returns to our shareholders and, where appropriate, invest in our growth agenda.”
In March the company announced it would sell off various roll-your-own and other tobacco product brands in the U.S.
After the news was made, Imperial’s stock—which is traded on the London Stock Exchange—jumped 4 percent.