Philip Morris in talks for "smokeless" megamerger
Philip Morris International, which sells Marlboro cigarettes outside the U.S., said it's in talks to buy smokeless tobacco products maker Swedish Match, whose market cap surged past $14 billion on the news.
Why it matters: This would be the richest deal so far for a cigarette giant looking to diversify, topping the $12.8 billion that Altria paid for a 35% stake in Juul at the end of 2018.
- It also follows PMI's £1.1 billion ($1.5 billion) deal for asthma inhaler maker Vectura Group and $813 million purchase of Danish nicotine gum maker Fertin Pharma.
Elsewhere: Aspire Global, a Chinese e-cigarette and vaping brand, pulled its U.S. IPO registration. It had planned to raise around $120 million and trade on the Nasdaq.
Big picture, per the WSJ: "Cigarette sales have been declining almost unabated for years because of the health hazards and the stigma attached to smoking. That is pushing PMI and its rivals to seek new revenue sources by investing billions of dollars into e-cigarettes, heated-tobacco devices and other products the companies say are less harmful and can be used more discreetly."