Following months of speculation, Imperial Tobacco has acquired Franco-Spanish tobacco company Altadis for E16.2bn (£11bn).

Imperial Tobacco had made two offers worth E45 and E47-a-share for the company in April but they were both rejected by Altadis.

However, the board of Altadis confirmed it would recommend Imperial's latest offer of E50-a-share to its shareholders.

“Imperial Tobacco and Altadis are a great strategic fit, which will consolidate our position as the world's fourth largest international tobacco company,” said Imperial Tobacco CEO Gareth Davis. “This deal significantly enhances our operating platform and scale with an increased presence in profitable mature markets and improved emerging market opportunities.”