The proposition, scheduled to provide a framework for mutual cross-licensing of vapour product technologies up to 31 December 2022, shows BAT plans to extend its reach through Europe and expand product lines beyond its analogue tobacco cigarette market to make the most of the worlds rapidly growing e cigarette movement – which are generally viewed as a healthier option.
CHIC, Poland's e-cigarette market-leader, makes brands including Volish and has an e-liquids manufacturing plant, research facilities and development labs.
The proposed acquisition is subject to approval from the Polish anti-trust authority.
In the same publication BAT also announced it has signed a research and technology-sharing deal with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, focussing on a variety of vapour products.
BAT also owns a 42% stake in RJ Reynolds which produces the brands Camel, Pall Mall, Newport, Lucky Strike and more.
This is a huge eye opener for the NZ vape scene as it shows the big tobacco companies are getting very serious about the electronic cigarette market and ‘next generation’ products.
Where will this lead? It is obviously still a huge unknown as to when the ripple will hit NZ, but one thing is for sure… It definitely will.
The optimists would see this as a positive move by the tobacco giants, showing they are interested in next generation products. Others would see a predatory company looking to gain a footprint in the tobacco harm reduction sector, creating room to unleash their distorted input sometime in the future.
Either way, there is no doubt we will all find out in the coming years. Stay tuned folks!