Imperial offloads cigar business

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Imperial Brands has agreed to sell its global premium cigars business for 1.2 billion euros (£1.05 billion) to pay down debt, the British tobacco giant said Monday.

Imperial, which also makes vaping brand blu and traditional cigarettes including Davidoff, Gauloises and Winston, said in a statement that it will sell the division to two investment consortia.

Gemstone Investment Holding will purchase Premium Cigar USA, while Allied Cigar Corporation will buy Premium Cigar Rest of the World.

“This disposal reinforces our strategic ambition of becoming a leaner and more agile organisation and the proceeds will realise value for shareholders by reducing debt,” Imperial said.