BAT not about to quit London stock market, insists new chief
Tadeu Marroco: No plans for change
The new boss of British American Tobacco has rejected calls to abandon the London stock market.
Tadeu Marroco, who took over in May, snubbed talk that the company would be better suited to the New York Stock Exchange. ‘It is not my priority. This will never be at the top of my priority list,’ he told the Daily Mail.
Major shareholder GQG Partners has called on BAT to move. The argument is that a primary listing in the US would give BAT a higher valuation and more exposure in its largest market.
But Marroco said that BAT – which has been listed in London for over a century – had a ‘very good base of investors in the UK’.
He said that the British market was ‘very benign’ towards public companies. ‘If we leave the FTSE there is no guarantee we would get into the S&P,’ he added.
Owen Bennett, analyst at Jefferies, said the move to the US would ‘make sense’ for BAT – with American investors more receptive to reduced-risk products. But Rae Maile, analyst at Panmure, said a move would not necessarily equate to a higher valuation.