Vape-orized: Philip Morris, Altria End Merger Talks As Juul CEO Quits

Vape-orized: Philip Morris, Altria End Merger Talks As Juul CEO Quits

Talk about wealth vape-orizing.

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The fallout from the vaping scandal, which has seen an unprecedented crackdown against a practice which until recently was seen as safer than conventional smoking and is now getting banned virtually everywhere following a streak of unexplained death, continued on Wednesday morning when tobacco giants Philip Morris and Altria Group announced they have ended their merger discussions.

“After much deliberation, the companies have agreed to focus on launching IQOS in the U.S. as part of their mutual interest to achieve a smoke-free future,” Philip Morris Chief Executive Officer André Calantzopoulos said Wednesday in a statement, referring to his company’s heat-not-burn device.

Shares of Philip Morris jumped more than 5% in early trading, while Altria rose about 1%.

Separately, we were almost right in our sarcastic comment from yesterday, the the criminal probe at Juul and sudden crackdown will cost the Altria CEO his job over last year’s $13 billion invesrment in Juul.

Instead, moments ago we learned that the Juul CEO, the aptly named Kevin Burns will quit first, and Altria Chief Strategy and Growth Officer K.C. Crosthwaite stepped down from the company to become the new CEO of Juul Inc.

The news follow a Tuesday report that Juul Labs would restructure and cut back its staff as state, federal and international health regulators pull its fruit flavored pods off store shelves as U.S. amid a public health crisis; as part of the overhaul, the company is eliminating some of its 3,900 employees, slowing hiring and reviewing its current job postings, according to a person familiar with the matter, who declined to be identified because the decision hasn’t been made public.

U.S. prosecutors in California have reportedly opened a criminal probe into the maker of the popular e-cigarette. Juul’s been criticized by federal health officials and lawmakers for fueling a teen vaping “epidemic.” Its advertising practices have, in particular, been scrutinized for using young models and bright colors health officials say appealed to kids.

Tyler Durden

Wed, 09/25/2019 – 07:57


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