Gallaher buys Austria Tabak.

June 22, 2001 - BENSON & HEDGES manufacturer Gallaher saw its shares tumble 21 to 454p yesterday after it bought Austria's largest tobacco company for £1.14 billion. Austria Tabak, whose brands include Austrian bestseller Memphis, is 41pc owned by the Austrian government, and Gallaher said it is buying the government's stake for Eu85 a share in cash, and offering the same terms for the privately held shares. Gallaher, which is the market leader in the UK with its Benson & Hedges and Silk Cut brands, becomes the fourth biggest cigarette manufacturer in Western Europe, but analysts are worried that they have paid too high a price. ( Gallaher buys Austria Tabak, by Rosie Murray-West,, 6/22/2001)