British American Tobacco’s takeover of e-cigarette maker Twisp approved

British American Tobacco’s (BAT) proposed takeover of e-cigarette maker Twisp was approved by South Africa’s Competition Tribunal on Tuesday after the UK-based group agreed to a series of conditions.

The local unit of BAT, the world’s second-largest tobacco company by sales, announced the deal in 2017 as part of its efforts to increase its offering of so-called next-generation products or alternatives to smoking cigarettes.

But in 2018, the South African Competition Commission recommended blocking the deal, and local rivals saying they wanted to intervene in the proposed merger.

The commission later changed its recommendation to a conditional approval. BAT South Africa and Twisp, which have not put a value on the deal, welcomed the decision.

“BATSA has been impressed by Twisp’s unique product offering, and plans to expand this for customers, while growing Twisp’s leadership position,” said BATSA Chief Executive Soraya Benchikh.

In July the South African unit of Philip Morris International opened a flagship store in Johannesburg for its alternative heated tobacco product IQOS.