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Lorillard Acquires British E-Cig Maker SKYCIG

Lorillard Corporate

Greensboro-based Lorillard Inc. announced Tuesday it has acquired the assets and operations of SKYCIG, a British-based electronic cigarette business, for $48.6 million.

SKYCIG adds to Lorillard's (NYSE: LO) growing e-cig business segment. It's blu eCigs brand, which it purchased last year, is the market leader in the U.S. and located in more than 80,000 retail outlets.

Lorillard, the third largest U.S. cigarette manufacturer, plans to pay another $48.6 million in 2016 if certain financial benchmarks are achieved.

The acquisition furthers the company's mission to become a global player in the e-cigarette category.

"It has been Lorillard’s mission to be first and best in the electronic cigarette category, and with the acquisition of SKYCIG, our mission is now a global one," Murray Kessler, Lorillard's chairman, president and CEO, said. "We believe that with the addition of SKYCIG, Lorillard is uniquely positioned to lead the global e-cigarette industry to reach its full potential, and to do so in a responsible manner."

SKYCIG, founded in 2011, will operate as a separate subsidiary under Lorillard. SKYCIG’s current management team and its current business locations in Great Britain will be retained.

"We chose to move forward with Lorillard for the exceptional resources and expertise which the company can provide to enable SKYCIG to further both our product innovation and availability," Tom Rolfe, co-founder of SKYCIG, said in a separate statement. "This acquisition will allow us to continue to progress as both the best and the most widely available e-cigarette brand in the U.K."


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