Tobacco giants Philip Morris and Altria end merger talks

The US tobacco giants Philip Morris and Altria are calling off merger talks.

The makers of Marlboro cigarettes said last month that they were in discussions to become a single company, more than a decade after splitting into two as lawsuits mounted.

Altria has exclusively sold Marlboro cigarettes and other tobacco brands in the US, while Philip Morris has handled international sales.

Philip Morris International Inc chief executive Andre Calantzopoulos said on Wednesday that the companies will instead focus on launching IQOS – a heat-not-burn cigarette alternative made by Philip Morris – in the US.

Meanwhile, e-cigarette company Juul’s chief executive is stepping down with safety concerns over vaping intensifying.

Altria Group Inc announced that KC Crosthwaite will become Juul’s new chief executive, replacing Kevin Burns.

Read Full Story