Tobbaco Companies To Reunite?
CBJ — Published reports indicate Philip Morris International and Altria Group are discussing an all-stock merger, potentially reuniting two of the world’s largest tobacco companies in a bid to dominate the fast-growing electronic-cigarette market.
Originally a part of Philip Morris until about a decade ago, shares of Altria and Philip Morris shares fell as questions arose about the rationale for the deal, which would reunite the two owners of the Marlboro cigarette brand.
A merger of the two would create a company with a market value of more than $200 billion, representing the fourth-largest deal of all time.
Industry-wide cigarette sales volumes were down almost 5% last year. In contrast, the e-cigarette market has exploded to be worth more than $11 billion per annum with aggressive growth expected to continue over the next several years. There are now questions being raised about harm being done to people’s lungs who use e-cigarettes.