Imperial buys Commonwealth

Bowling Green, Kentucky: Imperial Tobacco has completed a $1.9bn (£959m) acquisition of Commonwealth Brands, the fourth-largest cigarette manufacturer in the US. The deal would be a springboard for NPD, said Gareth Davis, chief executive of Imperial Tobacco Group. "We are targeting about £50m additional profit in the US in 2009 through the launch of further brands and products. The acquisition provides us with access to the North American Free Trade Agreement region, which will help us to be more competitive when developing our presence in Canada and Mexico."