Sep 17, 2021 - Economy

Philip Morris wins control of inhaler maker Vectura

Illustration of an arm in a business suit making a gun sign with smoke coming out of the fingertips.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Philip Morris International (NYSE: PM) won a shareholder vote to take control of British asthma inhaler maker Vectura Group (LSE: VEC) for £1.1 billion ($1.5 billion), having previously outbid The Carlyle Group.

  • Why it matters: The world's largest maker of cigarettes, a major contributor to respiratory disease, will now make products that treat respiratory disease. Some health advocates have asked Britain's competition authority to intervene, asking it to consider what they refer to as "monopolies of harm."
  • Details: Carlyle, whose European health deals are led by a former GlaxoSmithKline exec, had kept its lower-priced offer on the table, hoping that shareholders wouldn't approve the sale.
  • Bottom line: "Philip Morris, whose name has long been associated with Marlboro, the world's best-selling cigarette brand, says the deal is part of its plan to diversify its portfolio beyond tobacco and nicotine, with an emphasis on 'inhaled therapeutics.'" — Bill Chappell, NPR
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