ManufacturerRothmans Benson & Hedges Ltd.

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Rothmans of Pall Mall Canada Ltd.

Rothmans of Pall Mall established itself in Canada in 1957; among their brands were the unfiltered Rothmans King Size, and their popular filtered Rothmans King Size. In 1963, they bought the remaining stock of the Rock City Tobacco Company located in Québec City, Québec; Rock City was Carreras' Canadian subsidiary, and with the acquistion, Rothmans gained their Black Cat, Craven "A", and Sportsman brands. They also bought the small American company Larus and Brother Co. in 1968. With the scientific discoveries of the ill health effects of smoking in the 1960s, Rothmans of Pall Mall began to diversify outside of the tobacco business; their most notable acquisition was perhaps the purchase of Carling O'Keefe Breweries in 1969.

Rothmans of Pall Mall Canada was acquired in 1978 by Rothmans International, the company that was formed in 1972 by parent company Rembrandt Tobacco by the merger of their European tobacco companies. At the time, Rothmans International was itself seeking to diversify, and was attracted by O'Keefe Breweries. The next major change happened in 1986, when Rothmans (at that time in second place in the Canadian market) bought out fourth-place company Benson & Hedges (Canada) Ltd., which was owned by Philip Morris. The new company formed from the merger was named Rothmans Benson & Hedges Ltd., and was 60 per cent. owned by Rothmans International, and 40 per cent. owned by Philip Morris.

Rothmans Benson & Hedges Ltd.

In 1999, Rothmans International was bought by British American Tobacco. As B.A.T. acquired control of Imperial Tobacco Canada the following year, it would have given them some 90 per cent. control of the Canadian market; therefore, B.A.T. spun off its 60 per cent. share of Rothmans Benson & Hedges to form Rothmans Inc., a publicly-traded company.

Rothmans Inc. is committed to a focused performance in the Canadian tobacco industry. Historically, we have been diversified with ownership holdings in breweries, wineries, sports franchises and retail operations. However, fractionalization of effort led to reduced profitability and performance. (Carling O'Keefe Breweries were sold off to an Australian company in 1987, and would eventually be sold to Molson Breweries.)

R. B & H’s operations move tobacco from the farmer’s field to the retailer, supporting the Canadian economy and providing jobs at each step. The process begins with the purchase of leaf tobacco. R. B & H purchases approximately 93% of its tobacco in Ontario, and is a strong supporter of Canadian tobacco growers and the Ontario auction system through which most tobacco is sold. R. B & H processes leaf tobacco at its Brampton, Ontario and Québec City, Québec plants. The Brampton facility is devoted to the production of expanded tobacco blends for use in cigarette and fine cut products. R. B & H’s primary customers are wholesalers who in turn distribute our products to various retailers across Canada.

R. B & H has offices nationwide, with our head office in Toronto, Ontario. Our sales offices are located in Brampton, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Montréal, Québec and Halifax. The sales representatives, numbering over 150, operating from these offices work with R. B & H’s primary customers and retail outlets to support its distribution network. There are approximately 790 employees that make up R. B & H’s head office staff, its marketing department, sales force and manufacturing employees.

In 2008, Rothmans Inc.'s 60 per cent. share in Rothmans Benson & Hedges was bought out by Philip Morris International, giving them 100 per cent. control of the company. R. B & H is now a subsidiary of Philip Morris, who returned to the Canadian market after a 22-year absence.

Current Brands

Former Brands

  • Accord (made by Benson & Hedges branch, 1981-2006)
  • Black Cat (made by Rock City Tobacco branch)

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General Inquiries:
Brenda Moher
Assistant Secretary
1500 Don Mills Road
Toronto, Ontario
M3B 3L1
Tel: (416) 449-5525
Fax: (416) 449-9601

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