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Imperial Tobacco Group plc ( ) is the world's fourth largest international tobacco company. It is the second largest UK-based tobacco company by global sales. Imperial Tobacco's corporate headquarters are in Bristolmarker, Englandmarker. The Company is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.

Senior management

Gareth Davis has been chief executive of Imperial Tobacco since March 1996. His total annual compensation for this role is £1,998,000, which consists of a £939,000 salary and a £1,059,000 bonus.


The Imperial Tobacco Company was created in 1901 through the amalgamation of thirteen British tobacco and cigarette companies comprising W.D. & H.O. Wills of Bristolmarker (the leading manufacturer of the time), John Player & Sons of Nottinghammarker and 11 other independent family businesses, which were being threatened by competition from the United Statesmarker in the form of James Buchanan Duke and his American Tobacco Companymarker.

First W. D. & H. O. Wills of Bristolmarker merged with Stephen Mitchell & Son of Glasgowmarker. Subsequently other smaller companies including Lambert & Butler, William Clarke & Son, Franklyn Davey, Edwards Ringer, J & F Bell and F & J Smith participated in the amalgamation.

The Company's first Chairman was William Henry Wills of the Wills Company.

In 1902 the Imperial Tobacco Company and the American Tobacco Companymarker agreed to form a joint venture: the British-American Tobacco Company Ltd. The parent companies agreed not to trade in each other's domestic territory and to assign trademarks, export businesses and overseas subsidiaries to the joint venture. American Tobacco sold its share in 1911 but Imperial maintained an interest in British American Tobacco until 1980.

In 1973 the Imperial Tobacco Company, having become increasingly diversified by acquisition of restaurant chains, food services and distribution businesses, changed its name to Imperial Group.

In 1986 the Company was acquired by the conglomerate Hanson Trust plc for £2.5billion. Divestments during the period of ownership by Hanson included Courage Limited to Elders, Golden Wonder to Dalgety, Finlays to A J Patel, the wholesaling arm of Sinclair & Collis to Palmer & Harvey, Imperial Hotels and Catering to Trust House Forte and Ross Frozen Foods to United Biscuits.

In 1996, following a decision to concentrate on core tobacco activities, Hanson de-merged Imperial and it was listed as an independent company on the UK stock exchange.

It became Germanymarker's second largest tobacco company in 2003 following its purchase of Reemtsma Cigarettenfabriken GmbH: the deal added brands such as Davidoff, Peter Stuyvesant and West to its portfolio.

In 2007 Imperial Tobacco entered the United States tobacco market with its $1.9 billion acquisition of Commonwealth Brands Inc, the fourth largest tobacco company in the US.Bruce Schreiner, "Houchens expanding at a rapid pace: Company has evolved since Kentucky start", Associated Press, December 24, 2007

In February 2008, Imperial acquired European peer Altadis with brands including Fortuna, Gauloises Blondes and Gitanes.


The current brands sold by Imperial Tobacco are as follows:


Other products


External links

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