Austin, Monk Agree to Merge
GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ Two of the largest privately held tobacco dealers in the country have reached an agreement to merge and form a holding company, officials said.
The announcement was made jointly on Wednesday by Austin Co. Inc., which is based in Greeneville, and A.C. Monk & Co. Inc. of Farmville, N.C.
A name for the new company has not yet been selected, according to Sam J. Calvert Jr., the chairman of Austin.
Monk shareholders would own a majority of the stock of the holding company and have a majority representation on the board of directors, company officials said.
Both companies will maintain separate operations.
Calvert said the new company would be the fourth-largest tobacco dealer in the world in total sales. Both Austin and Monk sell only leaf tobacco.
Officials for both companies on Thursday declined to give any information on annual sales.
Clyde Austin III, the vice chairman of Austin, said Thursday that the two companies jointly own Mashonaland Tobacco Co. of Zimbabwe.