Reynolds American - consolidating smoking plants, expanding smokeless plants..

May 28, 2010 - Reynolds American will close cigarette factories in Winston-Salem and Puerto Rico and move production to a facility in Tobaccoville, the company said today May 28th.

Cigarette manufacturing and employees will begin moving from R.J. Reynolds’ Whitaker Park plant to Tobaccoville this summer, according to a company news release. Whitaker Park will cease manufacturing in mid-2011.

Cigarette production at an R.J. Reynolds' affiliate in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico, will be transferred to Tobaccoville by the end of August. About 60 manufacturing employees’ jobs in Yabucoa will be eliminated, and those employees will receive severance benefits. The company’s distribution operations in Puerto Rico are not affected by the plant closure.

Also, Reynolds' American Snuff Company LLC is expanding its smokeless tobacco processing and manufacturing capacity by investing in facilities in Memphis and Clarksville, Tenn.

Susan Ivey, Reynolds American’s chairman, president and CEO: Consolidating production into fewer and newer facilities will also facilitate cost-effective compliance with new federal regulation of the tobacco industry.”

Reference: Reynolds American to consolidate plants, Staff Reports, Greensboro News & Record, 5/28/2010.