Reynolds CEO Cameron downplays M&A chatter

|About: Reynolds American, Inc. (RAI)|By:, SA News Editor

Investors betting on a potential deal between Reynolds American (RAI) and Lorillard (LO) might want to change their thinking: That appears to be the message of RAI CEO Susan Cameron, who downplayed such speculation today at a Goldman Sachs investor conference.

The CEO also swatted down talk that British American Tobacco might raise its 42% stake in RAI after a 10-year standstill agreement preventing a hostile takeover expires in July, saying "I don’t see BAT as a stealth predator. I see them as a partner."

Cameron also said investors shouldn’t speculate that her sudden, surprise return to the RAI helm after leaving three years ago means a deal is more likely; predecessor Dean Delen decided to retire a bit sooner than planned strictly for family reasons, prompting the board to ask her to take over again.