A look at tobacco cos Reynolds American, Lorillard

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Cigarette makers Reynolds American Inc. and Lorillard Inc. on Friday said they are in talks of a possible merger that would combine two of the nation's oldest and biggest tobacco companies.

Here's a look at both companies:

REYNOLDS AMERICAN INC.

History: R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. was founded in 1875 in North Carolina and acquired Nabisco Brands in 1985. It was later spun off from RJR Nabisco Holdings Corp. in 1999. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco then combined in 2004 with Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. to create Reynolds American. British American Tobacco owns a 42 percent stake in Reynolds American.

Headquarters: Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Brands: With cigarette brands Camel, Pall Mall and Natural American Spirit cigarettes, as well as Kool, Winston, Salem, Doral, Reynolds has about a 27 percent of the U.S. retail cigarette market. It also sells as Grizzly and Kodiak smokeless tobacco brands and expanded its Vuse brand electronic cigarette nationally last month.

Performance: Its profit rose 35 percent to $1.72 billion in 2013 on revenue of $8.24 billion, excluding excise taxes.

Employees: About 5,200 full-time employees.

LORILLARD INC.

History: Founded in 1760 by Pierre Lorillard in New York City. The oldest continuously operating U.S. tobacco company was spun off from Loews Corp. in 2008.

Headquarters: Greensboro, North Carolina

Brands: Flagship cigarette brand Newport commands 37.5 percent of the U.S. menthol cigarette market. Along with other brands such as Maverick, Old Gold and Kent, it has about 15 percent of the retail market. Lorillard also owns e-cigarette maker Blu Ecigs, which accounts for almost half of all e-cigarettes sold.

Performance: Its profit rose 8.5 percent to $1.19 billion in 2013 on revenue of $4.97 billion, excluding excise taxes.

Employees: About 2,900 full-time employees.

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