January 18, 2018 / 2:53 PM / in a year

BUZZ -Imperial shares fizzle after Japan Tobacco CEO dampens deal chatter

** Imperial Brands shares down 2.6 percent on Thursday, touching their lowest level since August 2015

** Shares down 4.5 percent in two days, after chief executive of larger rival Japan Tobacco signaled on Wednesday interest in acquisitions other than Imperial Brands

** CEO told Reuters he was looking at deals in South America, Africa and the Middle East. He added that deals requiring more than one buyer, like Imperial, are hard to do

** Imperial shares had risen as much as 4 percent in November, when the new Japanese CEO said he wanted to do more deals

** Imperial, world's No. 4 tobacco company home to Gauloises and Davidoff, has long been seen as a potential takeover target, but high market concentrations make it tough for Japan Tobacco, British American Tobacco or Philip Morris International to buy on their own

** Separately on Thursday, Imperial said tax changes in the United States would result in a one-off credit of 20 million pounds and would not impact adjusted earnings

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