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BAT Beefs Up E-Cigarette Business

BAT, the No. 2 international tobacco company behind Philip Morris International Inc. PM 1.11 % by volume, said it had signed a conditional agreement to buy CHIC Group—which controls 60% of the Polish e-cigarette market and owns brands such as VOLISH, P1, Provog, Cottien, LiQueen and Aromativ—for an undisclosed sum.

The deal gives BAT further scale in the market for tobacco alternatives, which has become increasingly important for companies as tobacco consumption globally continues to decline. Combustible cigarette volumes declined 3.2% in fiscal 2014, according to Wells Fargo. WFC 1.00 % The firm estimates that the global market for vapor products could...