Imperial Tobacco Group Plc (LON:IMT) has announced today that David Taylor, current vice president, finance and planning and chief financial officer at Lorillard Inc, will become chief executive of wholly owned subsidiary ITG Brands. The appointment will become effective immediately after the completion of a deal involving the two tobacco producers.
According to a regulatory statement issued by the FTSE 100-listed group today, the change in management will take hold after the wrapping up of the proposed acquisition of certain US cigarette and e-cigarette brands and assets currently owned by Reynolds American Inc. and Lorillard. The deal was origianlly announced back in July 2014.
Regulatory approval for the deal is expected in the spring and it is related to Lorillard's pending merger with Reynolds. According to the statement from Imperial Tobacco, Taylor will bring a wealth of experience to the table, having held his post at Lorillard since 2008, and he has been actively involved in preparing for the launch of ITG Brands. The UK-based tobacco producer also said that Martin Orlowsky has voluntarily resigned his position at ITG due to differences with the company's management style.
Imperial Tobacco chief executive Alison Cooper wrote as part of the release: "David has a great track record of success and possesses the right skills and expertise to lead ITG Brands. Our commercial and operational plans are well-advanced and we continue to make excellent progress with integration planning."
In a separate release from today, Lorillard confirmed that Taylor will be leaving his role at the company to serve at ITG. Murray Kessler, chairman, president and chief executive officer at Lorillard said that Taylor "has been instrumental in building Lorillard's outstanding track record of growth”.
As of 14:17 GMT today, Imperial Tobacco’s share price stood at 3,109p, down 1.3 percent intraday. The group’s stock has climbed over 11 percent since the start of the year.
According to the Financial Times, as of 20 February 2015, the consensus forecast amongst 15 polled investment analysts covering Imperial Tobacco plc has it that investors should hold their position in the company. The median target of the 12 analyst offering 12 month price targets is 3,125p with a low estimate 2,200p and a high estimate of 3,555p.