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Cheap LD cigarettes (short for Liggett Ducat, the original manufacturer) is a brand of cigarette owned by Japan Tobacco. It was first launched in Russia in 1999 and quickly became Russia's number one cigarette brand.
Liggett Ducat smokes was bought by the Gallaher Group in 2000, which in turn was acquired by JTI in 2007. According to the JTI website, the brand is currently sold in over 30 countries.
Gallaher Group is a major Irish-based multinational tobacco company. It was traded on the London Stock Exchange and was a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index prior to its April 2007 acquisition by Japan Tobacco.
The business was originally founded in 1857 by Tom Gallaher in Derry, Ireland. By 1896, he had opened the largest tobacco factory in the world in Belfast. The business was incorporated on 28 March 1896 to "carry on in all their branches the businesses of tobacco, cigar, cigarettes and snuff manufacture".
Formerly produced in London and Dublin, Gallagher's moved its production to Belfast (cigarettes) and Wales (cigars) in the early 20th century.
On 4 August 2000 Gallaher completed acquisition of Liggett Ducat, Russia's number one cigarette brand. In January 2002, Gallaher became the 100% owner of Austria's former nationalised biggest tobacco-company Austria Tabak.
In 2002 US tobacco firm Reynolds formed Reynolds-Gallaher International to give the manufacturer access to cigarette sales in most countries in the European Union. It was scheduled to run through 2012 but in May 2007, as a result of the acquisition of Gallaher Group by Japan Tobacco, it was announced that this joint-venture would cease in November.
The closure of the former JR Freemans factory in Cardiff was announced in September 2007, with all work scheduled to move to the Ballymena factory by September 2009.
Japan Tobacco became the sole owner of the Gallaher Group on 18 April 2007, in the largest ever foreign acquisition in Japanese history. JT has made tentative plans to close Gallaher's head office in Weybridge, with implications for 330 jobs.