Gallaher Group

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Gallaher Limited
Private limited company
Subsidiary of Japan Tobacco
HeadquartersWeybridge, Surrey, England
Key people
John Gildersleeve (Chairman)
Nigel Northridge (CEO)
ProductsCigarettes, Tobacco
Revenue£8,401 million (2006)
£660 million (2006)
£408 million (2006)
ParentJapan Tobacco[1]

Gallaher Group is a United Kingdom-based multinational tobacco company. It was traded on the London Stock Exchange and was a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index, prior to its April 2007 acquisition by Japan Tobacco.


The business was founded in 1857 by Tom Gallaher in Derry, Ireland (now part of Northern Ireland.)[2] By 1896, he had opened the largest tobacco factory in the world in Belfast. The business was incorporated on 28 March 1896 to "carry on in all their branches the businesses of tobacco, cigar, cigarettes and snuff manufacture".

Formerly produced in London and Dublin, Gallaher's moved its production to Belfast (cigarettes) and Wales (cigars) in the early 20th century.

Gallaher went on to acquire a number of rival companies including J. A. Pattreiouex (1937), J. R. Freeman (1947), Cope Bros & Co (1952) and Benson & Hedges (1955).[3]

On 4 August 2000 Gallaher completed acquisition of Liggett Ducat, Russia's number one cigarette brand.[4] In January 2002, Gallaher became the 100% owner of Austria's former nationalised biggest tobacco-company Austria Tabak.[5]

In 2002 US tobacco firm Reynolds formed Reynolds-Gallaher International to give the manufacturer access to cigarette sales in most countries in the European Union. It was scheduled to run through 2012 but in May 2007, as a result of the acquisition of Gallaher Group by Japan Tobacco, it was announced that this joint-venture would cease in November.[6]

The closure of the former J. R. Freeman's factory in Cardiff was announced in September 2007, with all work scheduled to move to the Ballymena factory by September 2009.[7]

Japan Tobacco became the sole owner of the Gallaher Group on 18 April 2007, in the largest ever foreign acquisition in Japanese history.[8] JT has made tentative plans to close Gallaher's head office in Weybridge, with implications for 330 jobs.[9]


Gallaher operates primarily in the United Kingdom and Europe, with much smaller operations in Central Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Gallaher is the third largest of the three major British tobacco groups; the other two are British American Tobacco and Imperial Tobacco.

Gallaher brands include Benson & Hedges (with Philip Morris International, British American Tobacco, and Japan Tobacco), Silk Cut, Sterling, Mayfair, Crystal, Nil, Kensitas Club, Senior Service, Dos Hermanos, Gold Seal, Amber Leaf, Sobranie and Hamlet Cigars.

The Djarum brands include Djarum Super, Djarum Black, Djarum Coklat, Djarum 76, Djarum Istimewa, Djarum Special, Djarum Menthol, Djarum Vanilla, Djarum Cherry, LA Lights, Mustang, Mr. Brown, and Envio Mild. Djarum Group relationship with Gallaher Group has not been properly confirmed, since PT Djarum is a private Indonesian company, with majority of its shares own by Hartono family.[10]

Gallaher owns companies like Wismilak, which is the 6th largest cigarette company in Indonesia. However, this ownership has not been recorded in Wismilak Group Shareholders list as per 31 December 2014.[11][12]


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 27 September 2013. Retrieved 22 September 2013.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "Top 100 Companies". The Belfast Telegraph. 10 July 2008. Archived from the original on 17 May 2011.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Gallaher completes acquisition of Ligget-Ducat".
  5. ^ Finance (23 June 2001). "Gallaher buys Austria Tabak". The Daily Telegraph.
  6. ^ "A global fight over discount smokes". 25 February 2007.
  7. ^ 184 tobacco jobs go at city plant BBC Wales – 27 September 2007
  8. ^ "Gallaher agrees £7.5bn Japan Tobacco takeover". The Scotsman. 15 December 2006.
  9. ^ {{cite In 2015, JTI Gallaher announced the closure of their Ballymena operations with all work due to re-locate to Eastern Europe in a cost saving measure by 2017. This will result in the loss of over 1000 jobs in the town and ceasing of tobacco production in Northern Ireland by Gallaher's after moee than 100 years of operations. web|url= |title=Merrill Lynch in line for windfall over tobacco deal – Times Online |work=The Times }}
  10. ^ "Djarum Website: History of Djarum". Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  11. ^ "Wismilak Group". Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  12. ^

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