Cigarette makers Reynolds American, Lorillard set January meetings to vote on $25B merger

Markets Associated Press

Cigarette makers Reynolds American Inc. and Lorillard Inc. have scheduled special shareholder meetings to vote on their planned $25 billion merger.

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According to a Friday regulatory filing, two of the nation's biggest tobacco companies plan to hold meetings on Jan. 28 in their headquarters' state of North Carolina.

Reynolds announced the deal in July to combine the two companies, creating a formidable No. 2 to Richmond, Virginia-based rival Altria Group Inc., owner of Philip Morris USA.

Reynolds markets Camel, Pall Mall and Natural American Spirit cigarettes. Lorillard sells Newport, Maverick and Kent cigarettes.

The companies plan to sell the Kool, Salem, Winston, Maverick and blu eCig brands to Imperial Tobacco Group for $7.1 billion to ease regulatory concerns about competition.

Federal regulators are conducting an antitrust review of the deal.