December 15, 2015 / 2:42 PM / 4 years ago

Imperial Tobacco plans to change name to Imperial Brands

Cigarette packs of Imperial Tobacco are pictured at a tobacco store in Madrid June 13, 2011. REUTERS/Andrea Comas

LONDON (Reuters) - Imperial Tobacco Group plans to drop “tobacco” from its name and call itself Imperial Brands, which is more in keeping with its business now, it said on Tuesday.

Big tobacco companies have diversified into cigarette alternatives as the world smokes less due to growing health consciousness and regulation.

Imperial, in a statement, said the new name “better reflects the dynamic, brand-focused business that we are now”.

The change is subject to approval by the British company’s shareholders at their annual general meeting in February.

Imperial’s portfolio spans cigarettes, including Gauloises and Davidoff, the Tabacalarea cigar business, the Fontem Ventures e-cigarette business and the Logista logistics business. It took a big step in the United States earlier this year, spending $7 billion on brands such as Maverick, Salem and blu e-cigarettes.

Reporting by Martinne Geller in London, editing by Susan Fenton

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