Can Two Tobacco Giants Save Themselves by Merging

Philip Morris and Altria could recombine in a $200 billion deal

Altria and Philip Morris International said yesterday that they were in talks to recombine — over a decade after splitting — as they confront slowing cigarette sales and competition from e-cigarettes.

The companies are considering an all-stock merger, which would recreate the old Philip Morris. The company separated its domestic arm, now known as Altria, from its international business in 2008.

Here’s what’s under discussionaccording to the WSJ:

• Altria shareholders would receive just under 42 percent of the combined company, with Philip Morris shareholders receiving the remainder.

• The companies would share top management roles and board seats.

Driving the talks are non-cigarette products. Altria and Philip Morris have agreed to jointly sell IQOS, an e-cigarette product, in the U.S. And Philip Morris could help widen the international distribution of Juul, the popular vaping device in which Altria has invested nearly $13 billion.

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