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BAT Plans $47b Reynolds Merger

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British American Tobacco
  • BAT Plans $47b Reynolds Merger

British American Tobacco(BAT) is planning to merge with its United States partner Reynolds in a deal valued at $47billion (£38billion).

BAT wants to buy the 57.8 per cent of Reynolds it does not already own.

The merger would bring together some of the tobacco industry’s best-known brands, including Lucky Strike, Rothmans, Dunhill and Camel cigarettes.

BAT has been a shareholder in Reynolds since 2004 and the company said the merger was “the logical progression in our relationship”.

The FTSE 100 company is offering $20billion in cash and $27billion in shares for the US business. This values Reynolds at $56.50 a share, compared to its closing price of $47.17 on Thursday.

BAT estimates that it can make $400million worth of cost-savings through the merger.

The company has not yet held talks with Reynolds and said the merger would have to be approved by all the US company’s independent directors.

This is the biggest foreign deal by a British company in recent years, and flies in the face of the prevailing, post-Brexit wisdom that a weak pound would stop British companies buying foreign rivals.

It also marks a substantial consolidation in the ranks of big tobacco – the kind of consolidation that has just happened in another of the “sin” industries with the merger of the world’s two largest brewers, AB InBev and SAB Miller. Analysts have for years thought there could be another big deal to being together the big players in world tobacco, and today it has finally arrived.

There have been no talks between the companies in advance of this morning’s offer, but the pair know each other well – and after some haggling over price, it is likely we will see the creation of a new giant player in world tobacco.

BAT has held a significant stake in the company for 12 years after merging its US operations, known as Brown & Williamson, with RJ Reynolds. A new parent company was established at the time, of which BAT owns a 42.2 per cent share.

RJ Reynolds has been operating since 1875 and is the second largest tobacco company in the US after Altria, which owns Philip Morris USA.

Last year, Reynolds completed its $25billion takeover of US rival Lorillard. The combined company was forced to sell off a number of brands, including Kool, Salem and Winston, to satisfy regulators. They were eventually bought by Britain’s Imperial Tobacco for $7.1billion.

BAT also released results for the first nine months of the year on Friday which showed that revenue rose by 8.1per cent on a constant currency basis.

The company said there would be an impact from the fall in sterling against the dollar and that trading remained “challenging” in a number of key markets. Shares in BAT rose nearly 3 per cent to £49.40 in early trading.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Business

MultiChoice Nigeria Expands Product Offerings, Unveils 3 New DStv Business Packages

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Multichoice- Investors King

Leading Pay-TV service provider, MultiChoice Nigeria has rolled out new features and expanded the product offerings on its DStv Business packages for businesses and corporate organizations in Nigeria.

The new DStv Business packages are DStv Work, DStv Play and DStv Stay.

Chief Executive Officer, MultiChoice Nigeria, John Ugbe said: “We always ask ourselves how we can make our customers experience better for businesses. We have revamped our DStv Business packages, offering business owners the right mixture of entertainment to enhance the experience of guests and staff. At the end of the day, your guests will always remember how you made them feel.”

The DStv Work, tiered into 2 categories, DStv Work Ultra with 48 channels and DStv Work Essential with 75 channels, has been tailored to suit the businDStv Work, DStv Play and DStv Stay.ess environment including banks, offices, and other corporate organizations with specific offerings such as the latest news headlines from across the world, sports, weather updates and other work-related entertainment which sets the tone and keeps everyone well informed.

Commenting on the revamped DStv packages, Head of DStv Business, Abayomi Famakinwa said: “For the Work category, we have taken into consideration all our offices and different organizations. For Stay, we have considered all organizations across accommodation offerings such as hotels, B&Bs, Guesthouses and the likes; for Play, we are taking into consideration the Pubs, Clubs, lounges, restaurants, bars and the likes.”

The DStv Play package, tiered into 3 categories, DStv Play Ultra with 86 channels, DStv Play Essential with 61 channels, and DStv Play Basic with 40 channels aims to enhance guest experiences and ensure that they are always entertained with their favourite sports programmes and other first-class entertainment.

Famakinwa stated further: “A lot of our customers used to complain to us that there is only one package across the different bouquets so they couldn’t move from one package to the other, and we have listened as we always do and we have now tiered our packages into different categories for each of the segments. Secondly, we have factored in all the add-ons into our different packages; and from the decoder perspective we have bundled our decoders, which means, for each and every decoder that you have you can talk to MultiChoice and tell us what channels you would like to have on the decoder.”

The DStv Stay package, tiered into 3 categories, DStv Stay Basic with 77 channels, DStv Stay Essential with 99 channels, and DStv Stay Ultra with 139 channels are best suitable for hotels, motels, lodges, resorts, B&B and serviced apartments as it gives each guest – whether a kid, adult or elder – a memorable in-room experience due to the vast array of channels available to them during their stay.

Meanwhile, Chief Customer Officer, MultiChoice Nigeria, Martin Mabutho said: “At the centre of what we do and the key characteristics that we live by day in day out is innovation. And a company that prides itself in innovation, not only from the point of view of what we do with our hard work, or the point of view of content ideas that are groundbreaking, but clearly also from the point of view of all we have seen in the communities and economies that we operate in, and how different businesses can also become our partners.”

Speaking on what informed the Pay TV’s decision to expand its offerings, Martin noted: “As content is consumed on different platforms, mobile devices, phones, tablets, and computers, the people that own those contents have started to tighten around usage rights; the people that regulate us as pay-TV service providers also start to expect that we hit the right notes when it comes to the issue of morality, political correctness, and religion amongst others. It is for that reason that we saw it fit that we sit down and categorise our packages of big chop of contents and say, those that use DStv in offices what is the content that we have, that firstly we have the rights to, and secondly, would be deemed appropriate.”

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Company News

Total Nigeria Rebounds from 2020 COVID-19 Damages, Grows Profit by 1,601 Percent to N8.1 Billion in H1 2021

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Total Exploration - Investors King

Total Nigeria Plc, a subsidiary of Total, grew revenue by 42 percent from N106.705 billion recorded in the first half (H1) of 2020 to N151.333 billion in the first half of 2021.

In the company’s unaudited financial statements for the period, the cost of sales inched higher by 33.4 percent from N94.305 billion filed in the first half of 2020 to N124.83 billion in the period under review.

Total Nigeria’s gross profit appreciated by 105.7 percent to N25.504 billion in the first half of 2021, up from N12.400 billion in the corresponding period of 2020.

The company grew operating profit to N12.526 billion in the first half from -N716.812 million achieved in the first half of 2020 during the peak of COVID-19.

Profit before minimum tax jumped by 2,358 percent from -N523.898 million in H1 2020 to N11.779 billion in the period under review.

Total Nigeria paid N3.713 billion as income tax in the first half of 2021 to take the total profit after tax to N8.1 billion, a 1,601 percent increase from -N537.188 million posted in the corresponding period.

Shareholders’ funds expanded by 17 percent to N32.821 billion from N28.151 billion in H1 2020.

Total Nigeria’s share price grew by 49 percent during the period under review to N145.00 a share, up from N97.50 a unit in the first half of 2020.

Earnings per share jumped from -N1.58 in H1 2020 to N23 in H1 2021.

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Appointments

Wema Bank Announces Prince Olusegun Adesegun and Mr. Adeyemi Adefarakan as Non-Executive Directors

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Wema Bank- Investorsking

Wema Bank Plc has announced the appointments of Prince Olusegun Adesegun and Mr. Adeyemi Adefarakan as Non-Executive Directors of the Bank, effective July 19, 2021.

The announcement was after the Central Bank of Nigeria had approved both appointments, the lender disclosed in a statement signed by Johnson lebile, Company Secretary and Legal Adviser, Wema Bank Plc.

Prince Olusegun Adesegun Background

Prince Olusegun Adesegun is a Psychologist with a Masters’ Degree in Industrial Psychology from the University of Ibadan. He served and worked in Pyramid Products Limited as Manager in Training and rose to become the General Manager of the then Eastern Zone in 1988.

He retired and engaged in private business and has overtime garnered experience in marketing administration, management, and supply chain logistics solutions. He eventually became the CEO of Pecol Ventures Limited – a cash crop export and paper products company where he transformed the company from a small producer to a large, world-class Agric-Export firm.

He combined his private business with public service to become Commissioner for Works and Housing in Ogun State twice, and later served as the Deputy Governor of Ogun State between 2011-2015.

He currently serves as a Career Counsellor and Consultant for high quality investment decisions.

Adeyemi Adefarakan Profile

Adeyemi Adefarakan is a seasoned executive with strong global investment banking, portfolio risk, asset and financial management exposure.

He graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Economics & Accountancy from the prestigious City University, London, and holds a Masters degree in International Securities, Investment & Banking from the acclaimed ICMA Centre at the University of Reading, U.K. He is also an alumnus of the Emerging CFO: Strategic Financial Leadership Programme at Stanford Graduate School of Business, USA, and currently pursuing a Global CEO Africa Programme in the triumvirate of business schools comprising of Lagos Business School, Strathmore Business School (Nairobi, Kenya) and Yale School of Management (Connecticut, USA).

Yemi currently serves as the Group Chief Financial Officer and an Executive Director on the board of CBSL (Continental Broadcasting Service Limited). He holds other boards positions where he continues to create and extract shareholder value through active board engagement.

Prior to joining CBSL, Yemi forged his career on the trading floors of some of London’s financial powerhouses, to wit; State Street Global Markets, DRW Investments, JP Morgan Chase, Deutsche Bank and HSBC Global Asset Management, where he traded both vanilla and complex instruments and riskmanaged multi-billion-dollar multiasset portfolios.

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