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RJR Nabisco, Inc., was an American conglomerate, selling tobacco and food products, headquartered in the Calyon Building
Calyon Building
in Midtown Manhattan, New York City.[1] RJR Nabisco
Nabisco
stopped operating as a single entity in 1999; however, both RJR (as R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company) and Nabisco
Nabisco
(now part of Mondelēz International) still exist.

Contents

1 History

1.1 Formation 1.2 Headquarters move 1.3 The leveraged buyout 1.4 After the KKR buyout

2 Advertising controversy 3 References 4 Further reading 5 External links

History[edit]

Calyon Building, former site of the RJR Nabisco
Nabisco
headquarters

RJR Nabisco
Nabisco
was formed in 1985 by the merger of Nabisco
Nabisco
Brands and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company.[2] In 1988 RJR Nabisco
Nabisco
was purchased by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. in what was at the time the largest leveraged buyout in history. In 1999, due to concerns about tobacco lawsuit liabilities, the tobacco business was spun off into a separate company, and RJR Nabisco
Nabisco
was renamed Nabisco
Nabisco
Holdings Corporation. Nabisco
Nabisco
is currently owned by Mondelēz International
Mondelēz International
Inc. RJR Nabisco
Nabisco
Holdings Corp. (NYSE: NGH) was the parent company of RJR Nabisco, Inc.[3] After the food and tobacco businesses separated in June 1999, Nabisco Group Holdings
Nabisco Group Holdings
Corp. owned 80% of RJR Nabisco Holdings Corp., which was the parent company of Nabisco, Inc.[4] Formation[edit] R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
was founded in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in 1875 and changed its name to R. J. Reynolds Industries, Inc. in 1970. It became RJR Nabisco
Nabisco
on April 25, 1986 after the company's $4.9 billion purchase of Nabisco
Nabisco
Brands Inc. in 1985.[5][6] Headquarters move[edit] In August 1986, the RJR Nabisco
Nabisco
board announced that F. Ross Johnson would replace J. Tylee Wilson as head of the company effective January 1, 1987. Soon after that, Johnson, believing "bucolic" Winston-Salem did not have the right image for a "world-class company", began looking at other possible headquarters cities. The company decided against New York City
New York City
and Dallas, Texas. Atlanta
Atlanta
was selected because it was "nouveau riche and overbuilt".[7] On January 15, 1987, the RJR Nabisco
Nabisco
board approved a headquarters move from Winston-Salem to Cobb County, Georgia, north of Atlanta, where the company had rented space. The move would affect 250 to 300 employees, while Winston-Salem would still have 14,000 people working for the company. RJR Nabisco
Nabisco
donated the 519,000-square-foot World Headquarters Building to Wake Forest University but continued to use it until the September 1987 move.[5] Later, RJR Nabisco's Planters- Life Savers
Life Savers
Division moved to the former headquarters building.[7] The leveraged buyout[edit] The RJR Nabisco
Nabisco
leveraged buyout was, at the time, widely considered to be the preeminent example of corporate and executive greed. Bryan Burrough and John Helyar published Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco, a successful book about the events which was later turned into a television movie for HBO. Ross Johnson was the President and CEO of RJR Nabisco
Nabisco
at the time of the leveraged buyout and Henry Kravis
Henry Kravis
was the managing partner at Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. The leveraged buyout was in the amount of $25 billion, and the battle for control took place between October and November 1988. Although KKR eventually took control of RJR Nabisco, RJR management and Shearson Lehman Hutton
Shearson Lehman Hutton
had originally announced that they would take RJR Nabisco
Nabisco
private at $75 per share. A fierce series of negotiations and proposals ensued which involved nearly all of the major private equity players of the day, including Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Salomon Brothers, First Boston, Wasserstein Perella & Co., Forstmann Little, Shearson Lehman Hutton, and Merrill Lynch. Once put in play by Shearson Lehman Hutton
Shearson Lehman Hutton
and RJR management, almost every major Wall Street firm involved in M&A launched frenzied, literal last-minute bids in a fog of incomplete or misleading information. KKR quickly introduced a tender offer to obtain RJR Nabisco
Nabisco
for $90 per share—a price that enabled it to proceed without the approval of RJR Nabisco's management. RJR's management team, working with Shearson Lehman Hutton and Salomon Brothers, submitted a bid of $112, a figure they felt certain would enable it to outflank any response by Kravis. KKR's final bid of $109, while a lower dollar figure, was ultimately accepted by the board of directors. It was accepted because KKR's offer was guaranteed whereas management's lacked a "reset", meaning that the final share price might have been lower than their professed $112 per share. Additionally, many in RJR's board of directors had grown concerned at recent disclosures of Johnson's unprecedented golden parachute deal. Time Magazine
Time Magazine
featured Johnson on the cover of its December 1988 issue along with the headline "A Game of Greed: This man could pocket $100 million from the largest corporate takeover in history. Has the buyout craze gone too far?".[8] KKR's offer was welcomed by the board, and, to some observers, it appeared that their elevation of the reset issue as a deal-breaker in KKR's favor was little more than an excuse to reject Johnson's higher payout of $112 per share.[9] Johnson received compensation worth more than $60 million from the buyout, then left in February 1989. In March 1989, Louis V. Gerstner
Louis V. Gerstner
of American Express
American Express
became the new head of RJR Nabisco.[7] After the KKR buyout[edit] On April 27, 1989, RJR Nabisco
Nabisco
announced it would move its headquarters to the New York City
New York City
area.[10] As a result of the acquisition, RJR Nabisco
Nabisco
divested the following divisions:

Nabisco's UK operations (including Smith's and Walkers, Belin of France, and Saiwa of Italy were sold to BSN.[11] Smith's and Walkers were swiftly resold to PepsiCo.[12] Chun King was sold to Yeo Hiap Seng.[13] Associated Biscuits International (consisting of 38% of India's Britannia and 40% of Pakistan's English Biscuit Manufacturers) to Britannia Industries.[14] Fresh Del Monte Produce was sold to Polly Peck.[15] Del Monte Foods
Del Monte Foods
was sold to Merrill Lynch, Citicorp Venture Capitol, and Kikkoman. Del Monte's Asia operations (outside the Philippines) were separately sold to Kikkoman.[16]

On March 21, 1991, RJR Nabisco
Nabisco
Holdings Corp. became a publicly traded stock. In March 1999, RJR Nabisco
Nabisco
announced the sale of the international division of R. J. Reynolds Tobacco, and in June of that year, the company sold the remainder of R. J. Reynolds Tobacco to stockholders. The parent company became Nabisco Group Holdings
Nabisco Group Holdings
and owned 80.5 percent of Nabisco
Nabisco
Holdings. In 2000, Philip Morris bought Nabisco
Nabisco
Holdings. Soon after that, R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Holdings, Inc., first traded in June 1999, announced the acquisition of Nabisco Group Holdings. The deal was completed in December 2000.[6][17] Advertising controversy[edit] In April 1988, RJR Nabisco
Nabisco
fired the Saatchi & Saatchi advertising agency for their commercial for Northwest Airlines
Northwest Airlines
with the pitch that they no longer allow smoking in any of their flights. Saatchi and Saatchi was handling advertising for Nabisco
Nabisco
products and not for any RJR tobacco products.[18] References[edit]

^ "Investor Information 1997 Annual Report." RJR Nabisco. February 2, 1999. Retrieved on December 2, 1999. "Corporate Offices: RJR Nabisco, Inc. 1301 Avenue of the Americas New York, NY 10019" ^ Bozman, Jean S. " Nabisco
Nabisco
seeking DBMS to enhance connectivity." Computerworld. IDG Enterprise, May 18, 1987. Vol. 21, No. 20. 89. Retrieved from Google Books
Google Books
on September 6, 2011. "ISSN 0010-4841" ^ "Corporate Profile." Nabisco
Nabisco
Group Holdings. October 1, 2000. Retrieved on December 2, 1998. ^ "Corporate Profile." Nabisco
Nabisco
Group Holdings. October 1, 2000. Retrieved on December 2, 2011. ^ a b "RJR Nabisco
Nabisco
Plans to Move". The New York Times. 1987-01-16. Retrieved 2012-03-20.  ^ a b "A Stock History – Sequence of Events" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-23.  ^ a b c Tursi, Frank; White, Susan E.; McQuilkin, Steve (1999). "Chapter 27: Honk If You're Bucolic". Winston-Salem Journal. Archived from the original on 2011-03-07. Retrieved 2012-03-20.  ^ "A Game of Greed". Time Magazine. December 5, 1988.  ^ Bill Saporito (April 24, 1989). "How Ross Johnson Blew the Buyout". CNN Money. Archived from the original on April 16, 2014.  ^ "RJR Nabisco
Nabisco
Headquarters to Move to New York Area". Los Angeles Times. 1989-04-28. Retrieved 2012-03-20.  ^ "5 RJR Units Sold for $2.5 Billion - NYTimes.com". Retrieved 2015-02-09.  ^ "Pepsico, to Aid Europe Sales, Buys 2 British Snack Units - NYTimes.com". Retrieved 2015-02-09.  ^ "RJR Sending Chun King To Orient". Chicago Tribune, June 22, 1989. ^ s, From Times wire service (1989-07-07). "P.M. BRIEFING : Nabisco
Nabisco
Sells India, Pakistan Units". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2015-02-09.  ^ Press, From Associated (1989-09-08). "British Conglomerate to Buy Part of Del Monte From RJR". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2015-02-09.  ^ GANGA, MARIA L. La (1989-09-26). "RJR Sells Del Monte Operations for $1.4 Billion : Deal Puts Company Close to Lenders' February, 1990, Debt-Reduction Goal". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2015-02-09.  ^ Eleni Chamis, "Breakup Dismantles the 1985 Union of Two 100-Year-Old Companies," Winston-Salem Journal, May 13, 1999. ^ Dougherty, Philip H. (April 6, 1988). "Cigarette Maker Cuts Off Agency That Made Smoking-Ban TV Ads". The New York Times. 

Further reading[edit]

Burrough, Bryan; Helyar, John (1990). Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco. New York: Harper & Row. ISBN 0-06-016172-8. 

External links[edit]

New York City
New York City
portal Companies portal Food portal

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