Cigarette manufacturer Imperial Tobacco was the subject of a customs investigation after officers raided its German subsidiary Reemtsma.

The company said seven managers had been charged in connection with the inquiry, including Imperial's sales and marketing manager Manfred Haussler.

A statement said it was understood officers were investigating alleged foreign trading and related violations by Reemtsma before its sale. It did not disclose any further details.

Imperial, which makes the brands Embassy, Lambert & Butler and Regal, is the world's fourth largest cigarette maker after buying Reemtsma in March in a deal that saw it take over the West and Davidoff brands.