The tobacco company Altria continues to diversify its product portfolio to reduce its dependence on traditional cigarettes. The owner of Marlboro formalizes the entry into the capital of Juul, the manufacturer of the most popular electronic cigarettes in the United States. The operation is announced two weeks after the conglomerate carried out a similar operation with the Canadian producer of marijuana Cronos.
Philip Morris' parent company acquires 35% of Juul's capital, for which it pays 12,800 million dollars. With this investment, he is valuing his partner at around 38,000 million. Howard Williard, its CEO, explains that in this way the multinational is "preparing" for a future where adult smokers "prefer non-combustible products to cigarettes."
The traditional tobacco companies are presenting the electronic cigarette as the most viable alternative to smoking tobacco, because it reduces the consequences for health. Kevin Burns, CEO of Juul, says in this regard that the technology of the products it sells offers an "opportunity to improve the life" of 1.1 billion smokers.
Juul forges this alliance with Altria in its third year of existence in the market. It is the most popular electronic cigarette, with more than 70% of sales of this type of device in the US. But it is also the most controversial, as it is the favorite brand of students. The health authorities have just adopted a series of restrictions to avoid being consumed by minors. One in five students say they use vaporizers that allow them to inhale nicotine.
The other business opportunity that Altria wants to exploit is cannabis. For this, it disburses 1,800 million for 45% of the capital of Cronos. The bottling company Constellation Brands, owner of the Corona beer, also invested 4,000 million in Canopy Growth. And this week, the American brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev closed an alliance with Tilray to develop marijuana-based beverages.