By Ian Walker

British American Tobacco has sold 436.85 million shares of diversified Indian conglomerate ITC for 166.9 billion Indian rupees ($2.02 billion), and said it will use the money raised to buy back shares through December of next year.

The FTSE 100 cigarette maker--which houses the Kent, Dunhill and Lucky Strike brands--didn't disclose the price that the shares were sold at. However, the range was INR384 and INR400.25 according to a term sheet seen by The Wall Street Journal.

BATs said on Tuesday that it would sell the shares--about 3.5% of ITC's issued share capital--via a bookbuild program. Following the sale, the company continues to own 25.5% of ITC.

BAT said Tuesday that it would buy back shares through to December 2025 starting with 700 million pounds ($895.4 million) worth of shares this year. It said that the company will continue to use operating cashflow toward its transformation, progressive dividends and reduce debt.

The company said in February that it planned to divest at least part of its 29.02% stake in ITC, a shareholding it has held in some form since the early 1900s.

ITC is one of India's largest private-sector companies. Its business interests include fast-moving consumer goods, hotels, packaging, agribusiness and IT businesses.

Write to Ian Walker at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

03-13-24 0329ET