Japan Tobacco Inc (JT) has concluded an agreement to acquire all outstanding shares of Zandera Ltd, a leader in e-cigarettes and best known for its E-Lites brand.

Founded in 2009 and headquartered in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, Zandera sells high quality rechargeable and ready-to-use e-cigarettes through retail and online channels mainly in the UK.

“Our investment in Zandera provides the JT Group with an excellent entry-point into the fast-growing e-cigarette category,” said Japan Tobacco International (JTI) Executive Vice President and Deputy CEO Masamichi Terabatake. “With E-Lites’ well-established brand and product portfolio, we are able to offer adult consumers another important extension to our growing range of emerging and innovative products such as tobacco vapor pods (Ploom).”

The executive management team of Zandera will remain with the JT Group post-acquisition in order to leverage upon “their extensive knowledge and experience of the e-cigarette industry, their understanding of the product, technology and regulatory landscape”.

Zandera co-founder and CEO Adrian Everett said: “With access to the JT Group’s global distribution muscle as well as their research and development expertise, proven commitment to quality assurance and vision for emerging products, we look forward to growing the business and further enhancing E-Lites’ product offering.”

This transaction will be funded by the Group’s existing cash and loan facilities and is expected to have a minor effect on the Group’s consolidated performance and cash flows for the fiscal year 2014. JT expects to complete the acquisition in the second quarter of the fiscal year 2014 following regulatory clearance.