Juul, the largest e-cigarette company in the world, has just received a major investment. Altria took a 35 percent stake in Juul which is valued at 38 billion dollars.
Altria is part of Big Tobacco. They own brands like Marlboro and Skoal. They offered Juul 12.8 billion dollars in cash, and Juul accepted. Altria says in a press release that they hope to help expand Juul’s mission of creating a safer way for adults to smoke.
“We are taking significant action to prepare for a future where adult smokers overwhelmingly choose non-combustible products over cigarettes by investing $12.8 billion in JUUL, a world leader in switching adult smokers,” said Howard Willard, Altria’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “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. Through JUUL, we are making the biggest investment in our history toward that goal. We strongly believe that working with JUUL to accelerate its mission will have long-term benefits for adult smokers and our shareholders.”
The terms and conditions of the investment allow Juul to continue functioning as its own company. But also allows Juul to use significant resources from Altria. One of the perks is that Juul will have access to Altrias premier innovative tobacco products retail shelf space, allowing JUUL’s tobacco and menthol-based products to appear alongside combustible cigarettes. And Juul is hopeful they will be able to help more smokers stray away from tradition cigarettes and go to their products by directly reaching them through cigarette pack inserts and mailings to adult smokers via Altria companies’ databases.
Juul’s CEO, Kevin Burns says he looks forward to the future of this partnership.
“Altria’s investment sends a very clear message that JUUL’s technology has given us a truly historic opportunity to improve the lives of the world’s one billion adult cigarette smokers,” said Burns. “This investment and the service agreements will accelerate our mission to increase the number of adult smokers who switch from combustible cigarettes to JUUL devices.”