Tobacco giant Lorillard first expanded into the e-cig industry last year by acquiring Blu eCigs. On Tuesday, Lorillard announced that they would expand even further by acquiring British e-cig brand SKYCIG. The move places Lorillard in control of one of the UK’s top electronic brands, establishing a new global audience for their line of vaping gear.
If Lorillard’s success with Blu eCigs is any indication, SKYCIG will benefit tremendously from the acquisition. Since Lorillard took over Blu, the e-cigs spread to over 80,000 retail locations around the country and have become one of the most popular and well known e-cig brands in the United States. Lorillard plans to allow SKYCIG to continue operating independently under the current management while they work to boost manufacturing and marketing momentum.
Lorillard’s CEO, Murray Kessler, stated that Lorillard’s chief mission is to be the best in the e-cig market. By purchasing SKYCIG, that mission will become global. “We believe that with the addition of SKYCIG, Lorillard is uniquely positioned to lead the global e-cigarette industry to reach its full potential, and to do so in a responsible manner. We firmly believe that e-cigarettes may present the most significant harm reduction option ever made available to smokers in the U.S. and abroad and we look forward to working with regulators around the world to confirm this conclusion,” said Kessler.
SKYCIG’s co-founder Tom Rolfe was very positive in his remarks about the acquisition. “We chose to move forward with Lorillard for the exceptional resources and expertise which the company can provide to enable SKYCIG to further both our product innovation and availability,” he said.
It’s pretty easy to see why Rolfe was so upbeat about the merger. After all, Lorillard is already the third largest tobacco manufacturer in the United States. Based in Greensboro, North Carolina, Lorillard has been producing tobacco products since 1760 with major brands like Newport, Kent, and Maverick. When e-cigarettes began to pick up steam among smokers and profits started to soar, Lorillard made the first move to expand their product lines to include vaping products. Now, their Blu eCigs can be purchased at supermarkets, drug stores, and service stations around the country.
For SKYCIG, the $48.6 million acquisition is a step towards success. With new British regulations set to hit e-cigs in a few years, it’s imperative to have the financial backing and executive support to power through the coming changes. Now that Lorillard is in the picture, SKYCIG is very likely to be a long lasting brand name for UK vapers.
How do you think the Lorillard acquisition will impact SKYCIGS? Do you think this is a positive move for both companies?