Months after British American Tobacco first offered to buy Reynolds, the two have reached a deal. BAT, the international tobacco company that James ‘Buck’ Duke co-founded in 1902 is absorbing Reynolds. Buck Duke has finally beaten R.J. Reynolds once and for all. BAT played the long game. When Reynolds purchased Brown and Williams from BAT in 2004, BAT gained over 40 percent of Reynolds stock in the newly named, Reynolds American.