Cigarette giant and rand-hedge British American Tobacco (BAT) SA is buying SA’s biggest vaping company‚ Twisp.

Based in Cape Town‚ BAT SA said it wanted to expand its "next-generation products" business and offer consumers a choice of "compelling and innovative" alternatives to smoking.

CEO Soraya Benchikh said on Thursday: "We are extremely pleased that Twisp ... will be part of the BAT family. This acquisition will contribute towards BAT’s growth and sustainability and will enhance our contribution to the country’s current and future economic growth. We are committed to the growth of our next-generation products business and it was only natural that we extend our offering in SA with a range that is familiar to this market."

The acquisition‚ which is subject to approval by competition authorities‚ is expected to be complete by mid-2018.

Twisp‚ which started operating in 2008‚ markets several vaping devices and produces its range of flavours at a pharmaceutical laboratory in Cape Town. It has 66 shops nationwide.

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