The American tobacco companies Altria Group and Philip Morris International are discussing a merger. Altria sells Marlboro cigarettes in the United States, among others, while Philip Morris sells the Marlboro brand abroad.
Philip Morris was split off from Altria in 2008, partly due to pressure from shareholders. Now the companies would want to come together again after more than ten years through a share merger. However, it is not certain whether a deal will be concluded. A possible combination should be approved by the boards of directors, authorities and shareholders. Going together would create a tobacco company with a market value of more than $ 200 billion.
On Wall Street, the price of Altria with a plus of more than 7 percent was considerably on the rise due to the news. The Philip Morris share, on the other hand, fell nearly 8 percent.
Philip Morris would get a 58 percent stake in the combined company, while Altria gets the rest, according to sources around the case. Some analysts have been speculating for some time that the two companies may merge, partly due to pressure from falling cigarette sales.
At the end of last year it was announced that Altria took an interest of 12.8 billion dollars in the maker of electronic cigarettes Juul Labs. Altria also invested heavily in cannabis. Philip Morris does good business with his cigarette substitute IQOS, which heats tobacco instead of burning it. This device has since been approved for sale in the United States.