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BAT Increases Offering in South Africa With New Vape Deal

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Tobacco giant British American Tobacco’s South African branch has announced a deal to acquire 100% of vapor company Twisp. BAT said in a statement that their aim is to grow the next generation products category and to offer consumers a choice of “compelling and innovative” alternatives to smoking traditional cigarettes.

This deal will mark the start of the company’s expansion into offering NGPs in South Africa. BAT South Africa’s CEO Soraya Benchikh was quoted as saying:

“We are extremely pleased that Twisp will be part of the BAT family. This acquisition will contribute towards BAT’s growth and sustainability and will enhance our contribution to the country’s current and future economic growth. We are committed to the growth of our next-generation products business and it was only natural that we extend our offering in SA with a range that is familiar to this market.”

This expansion into the e-cigarette market in South Africa follows a long term trend of interest in harm reduction from the tobacco giant including past acquisitions including Vype and VUSE. VUSE, acquired through Reynolds American in July 2017 was originally launched in 2013 and is now one of the leading brands in the US Vapor Product retail market. Vype was created by BAT in house and launched in the U.K. in 2013. It has since expanded it’s range into other markets including; France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Colombia, Guatemala, Kuwait, Bahrain, and the Philippines.

Twisp is a leading e-cigarette supplier in South Africa which started operations in 2008 and now have 66 retail locations accross the nation. Their product offerings include a range of five different modular devices as well as a pod styled device which comes pre-filled with their own e-liquids. The acquisition will contribute towards BAT’s offering in the e-cigarette world. BAT said in a statement that it believes their next generation products will play a role in meeting SA’s objectives of offering alternatives to its consumers.

Closing of the acquisition will be subject to South Africa’s anti-trust approval and other conditions but is expected to be completed by mid-2018.

Currently located in Sydney, Australia, I have been vaping since 2009 and became active in the e-cigarette industry in late 2015. Since then I’ve had the pleasure of visiting over 700 shops in 6 countries.

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