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New Imperial Brands chairwoman snaps up 577,000 dollars in shares

By Simon Neville, PA City Editor

The new chairwoman of Imperial Brands has splashed out more than half a million dollars on shares in the company.

Therese Esperdy’s purchase on Thursday came a day after the company announced it expects revenues to suffer from a clampdown on vaping in the US.

Government officials in the US are looking at banning flavoured e-liquids and heavily regulating the industry following a series of reports that users were suffering breathing problems.

Ms Esperdy, a former banker, spent 577,440 dollars (£446,439) on 24,000 shares.

She joined the board of Imperial, which sells brands including Davidoff, Rizla and Blu, in 2016 and became chairwoman last month.

On Wednesday she led the company’s annual shareholder meeting in Bristol, where investors overwhelmingly voted through her appointment.

But there was some concern, with shareholders holding a total of 13% in the company voting against the pay packets for the boardroom.

Imperial said on Wednesday that the number of cigarette and tobacco smokers is falling and a US ban on certain vaping flavours has resulted in a writedown of about £45 million.

The company also unveiled its new chief executive, Stefan Bomhard, former boss of car dealership Inchcape. He replaces Alison Cooper, who stepped down this week.