RJR might have buyer

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RJR Nabisco's future as a combined tobacco and food company is under new attack. The Federal Trade Commission today confirmed that it has given the go ahead to New Valley Corp. to buy up to 15% of RJR Nabisco Holdings Corp. common stock. New Valley is controlled by the Brooke Group which owns tobacco maker Liggett Tobacco. RJR today said that Brooke's chairman Bennett S. LeBow previously had approached company executives with the idea of buying RJR's tobacco business and spinning off food products. "After appropriate review, (RJR) concluded that the proposal was neither viable nor in the best interests of RJR Nabisco's shareholders," RJR said today in a press release. Officials of New Valley and of Brooke could not be reached for comment. Liggett Group has a 2.3% share of the cigarrette industry with its top selling brand being Eve, while RJ Reynolds had a 30.6% brand share.

Copyright August 1995, Crain Communications Inc.

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