Imperial Tobacco prepares for Altadis merger

Imperial Tobacco, the maker of Superkings and Lambert & Butler cigarettes, has shaken up its comms team in advance of its £11bn acquisition of European rival Altadis.

Alex Parsons will move to a newly created position as head of corporate comms of the FTSE 100 firm. He reports to PLC board member and corporate development director Alison Cooper.

Parsons will also manage investor relations, reporting to Imperial finance director Bob Dyrbus. In the new role Parsons will form part of the Imperial Integration Team and will have responsibility for integration comms.

Parsons was formerly group media relations director at Imperial and head of comms for energy firm Dynegy Europe. Prior to that he was one of four PR managers for the European arm of embattled US firm Enron before its bankruptcy in 2001.

‘This restructuring has been undertaken in advance of the completion of our £11bn acquisition of Altadis, which should be concluded in January,’ said Parsons.

Imperial Tobacco uses Bell Pottinger in the UK, Deva in Spain and Fineo in France.

Parsons insisted his appointment would have ‘no impact’ on the firm’s agency set-up. But he added: ‘As with everything, the structure will be kept under review as we work through integration next year. Our priority is to ensure that our agency structure meets the requirements of the enlarged group.’

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