US: Altria and Philip Morris in talks to reunite forming tobacco giant

Philip Morris International (PMI) and Altria, which used to be one, giant tobacco company, may merge once again, reported the Financial Times. 

Both companies sell the Marlboro brand: Philip Morris sells tobacco products internationally and Altria does business in the United States. Both announced on Tuesday, August 27, that they were in discussions about a deal to recombine.

If a deal were to happen, the combined company would probably be worth more than US$200 billion. Philip Morris is currently valued at about US$110 billion, while Altria has a market capitalization of over US$90 billion.

The talks come just over two years since rival British American Tobacco agreed to buy Reynolds American in a US$49.4 billion deal. At the time, analysts expected PMI to recombine with Altria, given that fears over US litigation of cigarette groups had dissipated.  

Tobacco groups are increasing their presence in electronic cigarettes and heated tobacco technology as sales of traditional tobacco products decline. Altria last year agreed to take a 35% stake in ecigarette group Juul Labs for US$13 billion.

Full Content: Financial Times

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