After Reynolds/Lorillard Merger, Many Questions Remain

After Reynolds/Lorillard Merger, Many Questions Remain

6:00am Jun 19, 2015
ITG Brands, the new U.S. division for Imperial Tobacco, located in Greensboro.
Julie Knight, Triad Business Journal

The $27.4 billion dollar deal that joined Reynolds American Inc. and Lorillard became final last week. But looming questions are still unanswered, mainly surrounding the future for ITG Brands, the arm of Imperial Tobacco, that took over the Greensboro plant. 

Katie Arcieri with the Triad Business Journal reports that the biggest question is what will happen to Lorillard's Greensboro employees. Before the merger, Lorillard said that most of their employees would keep their jobs, either with Reynolds or ITG. 

"What we don't know is, there are 1700 employees that were previously employed by Lorillard in Greensboro and so we just don't know how many of those former Lorillard employees have accepted offers by ITG Brands or by Reynolds," says Arcieri. "Neither company is actually saying that right now."

ITG Brands acquired the Winston cigarette as part of the merger, and Arcieri says that the company sees a lot growth potential in that brand. It's not as successful, however, as Newport, and she says ITG Brands will need to focus on marketing, pricing and what segment of smokers the brand targets. 

Arcieri says another question surrounds what kind of corporate citizen ITG will be in Greensboro.

"Lorillard was a big player in terms of United Way donations. They've donated to the [International Civil Rights Center & Museum]. They've donated to the Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts. So, ITG Brands really will have big shoes to fill."

The Business Report on 88.5 WFDD is a partnership with the Triad Business Journal.

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