GREENSBORO — ITG Brands is moving its tobacco production from its Reidsville plant to Greensboro.
The move is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2020, the company said Thursday in a news release.
The company said that 117 manufacturing employees — 89 hourly and 28 salaried — currently work at the Reidsville plant. Displaced employees will receive severance pay.
The plant has operated in Reidsville for more than 100 years.
“Deciding to shift operations from Reidsville to our Greensboro plant was not an easy decision to make, especially given the long tradition of tobacco operations in Reidsville,” Dan Carr, the president and chief executive officer of ITG Brands, said in the release. “It is a business decision we had to make.”
In the release, Carr said the move will lower manufacturing and regulatory costs, allowing the company to continue to reinvest in its business and continue growing its brands.
The company held meetings with Reidsville-based employees Thursday to discuss the plans.
ITG Brands’ products made at its Reidsville plant include the cigarette brands USA Gold, Sonoma, Montclair and Rave.
In Greensboro, it manufactures the Winston, Kool, Salem and Maverick brands.
Originally constructed in 1892 and added to over the years, the Reidsville tobacco factory was owned for the majority of its existence by the former American Tobacco Co., which was purchased by Brown & Williamson Tobacco in 1995. Before that change in ownership, American Tobacco reportedly employed more than 1,000 people at the factoryy.
In 1996, B&W moved Reidsville’s cigarette-making to its factory in Macon, Ga., and sold the Reidsville building to Commonwealth Brands, which reopened the factory in 1997.
In 2007, British-based Imperial Tobacco purchased Commonwealth Brands and kept tobacco production at the Reidsville building.
In June 2015, Imperial created ITG Brands as part of the deal that saw Reynolds American buy the Greensboro-based Lorillard Tobacco Co. As part of the three-way purchase agreement, Imperial purchased the Winston, Kool and Salem brands from Reynolds and the Maverick brand from Lorillard, as well as Lorillard’s corporate headquarters, research facilities and manufacturing plant in Greensboro.