(AP) Lorillard Inc. says it has acquired British-based electronic cigarette maker SKYCIG for 30 million pounds (about $49 million).
The nation's third-biggest tobacco company said Tuesday that the move helps expand its global presence of the fast-growing business.
Electronic cigarettes battery-powered devices heat a liquid nicotine solution, creating vapor that users inhale. The category has grown from thousands of users in 2006 to several million worldwide.
Lorillard said it will pay up to another 30 million pounds ($49 million) more in 2016 if the company meets certain financial performance benchmarks.
SKYCIG will operate as a separate subsidiary. Lorillard intends to keep its current management team and locations in Great Britain.
Greensboro, N.C., based Lorillard acquired e-cigarette maker Blu Ecigs for $135 million last year as part of an industrywide push to diversify beyond the traditional cigarette business.