BAT shares fall after US court award
Thursday 01 April 1999
BAT shares closed 24.5p lower at 516p as the UK market reacted to the US decision made late on Tuesday. It was also disclosed yesterday that the competition authority in Australia has raised objections to the group's proposed pounds 5.2bn merger with Rothmans International. The deal would give the combined group 62 per cent of the Australian cigarette market and over 90 per cent of its premium cigarette sector.
BAT, whose brands include Lucky Strike and State Express 555, said it was too early to judge the longer-term significance of the Oregon judgement, which concerned the death of 67-year-old former janitor who had smoked for 42 years. The company said it would wait to see if the ruling was overturned at appeal. "Until you see what happens at appeal you don't know if you are seeing a new wave of litigation," a BAT spokesman said.
Some analysts said the Oregon judgment could encourage more suits following a $51m damages award in San Francisco in February. Jonathan Fell at Merrill Lynch said the litigation picture is "still developing." He added: "It is certainly worrying but I wouldn't say it is the end of the world."
Separately BAT said it had anticipated some regulatory problems as a result of its proposed merger with Rothmans. It expects to sell some brands in Australia to satisfy the authorities. However it expects to escape disposals in South Africa, where its share will be more than 90 per cent.
Other markets where objections are likely to be raised by the authorities include New Zealand, while in Canada BAT is expected to sell the Rothmans business there to achieve clearance.
- 1 Isis 'jihadi bride' claims forced sex with Yazidi girls is never rape because Koran condones it
- 2 Eurovision 2015 winner: Sweden beats Russia and Italy to take the title from Conchita Wurst
- 3 Purity balls: Girls in the US making virginity pledges as fathers vow to 'protect purity'
- 4 Mother 'will allow son's circumcision in return for release from prison'
- 5 Female Muay Thai champion hustles coaches to give them a beating
Isis 'jihadi bride' claims forced sex with Yazidi girls is never rape because Koran condones it
Greek hospitals cannot afford painkillers, scissors or sheets as budget cuts bite
Purity balls: Girls in the US making virginity pledges as fathers vow to 'protect purity'
Female Muay Thai champion hustles coaches to give them a beating
Puerto Rico, island of lost dreams: People are leaving the debt-hit territory in droves as near neighbour Cuba's star rises
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland
iJobs Money & Business
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...
£45,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you looking for your next opportunity for ...
£45,000 - £55,000: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ACA/ACCA/ACMA qua...
£50,000 - £60,000: Laura Norton: Are you looking for an opportunity within a w...