Altria (NYSE:MO) has announced that it now has a $12.80 billion stake in e-vapor company Juul.
The announcement from Altria has the company taking out a minority investment in Juul. The buying price of $12.80 billion gives the tobacco company a 35% economic interest in the e-vapor company. This values the e-vapor company at $38 billion.
The deal will have Altria obtaining 35% non-voting shares of Juul stock. However, once it receives antitrust clearance, these shares will convert to 35% voting shares. It will also give Altria the ability to appoint directors that represent one-third of Juul’s Board of Directors.
According to Altria, Juul will continue to remain as an independent company after this investment. However, this will give it access to MO’s infrastructure and services. This includes shelf space, distribution services and placing inserts for the company’s products in cigarette packets.
Altria also notes that another benefit of the deal is that Juul can take advantage of its sales organization. It is also worth noting that Juul’s website will remain the sole place for customers to buy its flavored products.
“We have long said that providing adult smokers with superior, satisfying products with the potential to reduce harm is the best way to achieve tobacco harm reduction, ” Howard Willardm Chairman and CEO of Altria, said in a statement. “We strongly believe that working with JUUL to accelerate its mission will have long-term benefits for adult smokers and our shareholders.”
MO stock was down 2% as of noon Thursday.
As of this writing, William White did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.