ROTHMANS UPS BID FOR AMERICAN SPIRIT MARKETER

Challenges RJR Offer of $320 Million for Cigarette Maker

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- The bidding war for Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co. continued today when Canada's Rothmans upped its earlier offer to $353.7 million in cash and stock to trump a counter-bid from R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Holdings.

On Nov. 22,

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RJR BIDS FOR AMERICAN SPIRIT MARKETER
$320 Million Offered for Additive-Free Cigarette Maker
RJR topped Rothman's initial bid of $275 million in cash and stock by offering $320 million in cash for the privately held marketer of additive-free niche cigarette Native American Spirit.

Sales figures for Santa Fe, whose board members meet today to evaluate the offers, were not available.

An RJR spokeswoman said the company would consider its course of action after the Santa Fe board makes its decision.

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