BAT Profits Rise, Snaps Up Imasco
British American Tobacco Plc Tuesday reported a 14 percent rise in first half 1999 profits and said it would buy the 58 percent of Imasco Ltd it does not own and break up the Canadian group.
BAT, the world's second largest cigarette company, with brands such as Lucky Strike and State Express 555, reported first half profits to June 30 of 661 million pounds ($1.07 billion), helped by an absence of any exceptional charges.
BAT will pay a minimum of C$40 cash per Imasco share, or 4.2 billion pounds ($6.8 billion), with the final amount depending on the price obtained from the planned sell-off of Imasco's drugstore and property businesses Shoppers and Genstar. As part of the plan, BAT has agreed to sell Imasco's CT Financial Services unit to Toronto-Dominion Bank (NYSE:TD - news).