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Japan Tobacco nears agreement to buy Reynolds unit

Natural American Spirit cigarettes are high-end smokes in the Japanese market.

TOKYO -- Japan Tobacco has entered the final stages of talks to purchase Reynolds American subsidiary Santa Fe Natural Tobacco, moving forward with a growth strategy centering on overseas acquisitions.

     The two sides aim to reach an agreement this week. The price is expected to reach around $5 billion, making the acquisition JT's largest since it bought the U.K.'s Gallaher for $14.7 billion in 2007.

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