Tobacco giants Altria and Philip Morris ditch merger plans
Altria (NYSE: MO) and Philip Morris International (NYSE: PM) said they are no longer in talks for an all-stock merger, which would have reunited the two cigarette makers after more than a decade apart.
Why it matters: It reflects tobacco industry tumult over the Trump administration's proposal to ban flavored vaping products, although the two companies still plan to launch a joint, FDA-approved, "heat-not-burn" vaping product called IQOS.
The bottom line: The deal's death raises new questions about if either company will make a distressed takeover play for Juul, whose newly-installed CEO K.C. Crosthwaite previously led IQOS for Altria (which already holds a 35% Juul stake).