By Martinne Geller and Kate Holton LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. cigarette maker Reynolds American Inc is in talks to acquire rival Lorillard Inc in a multi-billion dollar deal that would include the sale of some brands to Britain's Imperial Tobacco Group Plc , the companies said on Friday. In a statement confirming what people familiar with the matter previously told Reuters, Reynolds, No. 2 player in the United States with brands including Camel and Pall Mall, said the talks were consistent with its strategy of weighing options that would help boost shareholder value. Buying Lorillard, which has a stock market value of $22.9 billion, would give Reynolds the leading U.S. menthol cigarette Newport and its leading e-cigarette blu. It would also give it added scale to compete with Marlboro maker Altria Group Inc , in a market that is shrinking as more Americans quit smoking but which remains one of the biggest and most profitable tobacco markets in the world.