Imperial Tobacco to buy electronic cigarette unit of Dragonite International
Imperial Tobacco Group announced that it would purchase the electronic cigarette unit of Dragonite International Ltd for USD 75 million. Simon Evans, the spokesman for Imperial Tobacco, said the acquisition would have to be approved by the shareholders of Dragonite International.
As the second largest tobacco firm in Europe, Imperial Tobacco is known for its Davidoff cigarette brand. The acquisition would allow the Bristol-based company to develop other alternatives to traditional cigarettes. Bloomberg reported that Imperial Tobacco still lagged behind its competitors like Philip Morris International and British American Tobacco in alternative product offerings. As governments continue to tighten regulations on smoking, tobacco firms are actively seeking new alternatives to nicotine cigarettes.
Last month, Imperial Tobacco said that its Fontem Ventures unit would take care of its alternative product development. The cigarette maker further said that it was on track towards its plan to introduce new products by next year.
The website of Dragonite International said Hon Lik, its Founder and Executive Director, was the inventor of the electronic cigarette. Dragonite also said it is the owner of e-cigarette patent technologies worldwide.