Sun, 10 Dec 2023

WASHINGTON D.C.: The Wall Street Journal has reported that e-cigarette maker Juul and three tobacco giants are negotiating potential sale, strategic investment, licensing or distribution deals.

The report said that Juul had separate discussions with Philip Morris International, Japan Tobacco Group and Altria Group.

An agreement, however, is not imminent and the discussions may not result in a sale or partnership, the Wall Street Journal added.

Juul, which reportedly filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and is partly owned by Marlboro maker Altria, has not responded to requests for comment.

Last autumn, Juul and Altria reached late-stage talks on a potential deal to sell Juul's international business or license its US intellectual property, but due to a potential bankruptcy filing the negotiations fell through in September.

Juul resumed discussions with Altria, which, after buying a 35 percent stake in the e-cigarette company in September, exercised the option to be released from its non-compete deal with Juul.

After claims that it deceptively marketed e-cigarettes and promoted tobacco use amongst youth, Juul is currently facing thousands of lawsuits filed around the US.

Juul secured preliminary court approval for a $255 million settlement of the claims by consumers in October. But in November, it secured an investment from early investors that allowed it to stay in business.

In June, the US Food and Drug Administration briefly banned Juul's e-cigarettes, but the order was put on hold after an appeal.

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