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Altria in talks to buy marijuana producer Cronos Group



Marlboro Cigarettes Altria
of Marlboro cigarettes are displayed for sale at a convenience
store in Somerville, Massachusetts July 17,


  • Altria, the tobacco giant behind well-known brands like
    Marlboro, is reportedly in talks to acquire Canadian marijuana
    producer Cronos Group, according to Reuters. 
  • The two companies have not yet agreed to a deal, and neither
    confirmed a deal was in the works. 
  • If the deal goes through, it would represent the largest
    tie-up between the tobacco and marijuana sectors. 

The tobacco behemoth behind one of the US’s most popular
cigarette brands is in talks to buy a Canadian marijuana

Marlboro-maker Altria is in early talks to acquire Cronos Group,
a Canadian marijuana producer, according to a
Reuters report

Cronos has not yet agreed to a deal, and the talks are expected
to continue for several weeks, sources familiar with the matter
told Reuters. Shares in the company rose as much as 23% on the
news, pushing Cronos Group’s market cap close to $2 billion.

Altria is also
reportedly in talks to purchase a minority stake in the vape
startup Juul
in an effort to diversify its business as
cigarette smoking declines in the US.

Cronos isn’t the first marijuana producer that Altria has
considered acquiring. The Globe and Mail reported in October that
the company was
considering purchasing a minority stake in Aphria

Read more:
Coca-Cola is eyeing a deal in the marijuana industry, and
insiders say it’s a sign that other beverage giants may soon dive

Short sellers, however, have targeted Aphria. Gabriel
Grego, the founder of Quintessential Capital
the company was a “black hole”
on Monday at the Kase
Learning Short-Selling Conference in New

Altria did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and
a representative from Cronos declined to comment on “market

If a deal is reached, it would represent the largest tie-up
between the tobacco and marijuana sectors. In June, UK-based
Imperial Brands
invested through its venture arm in Oxford Cannabinoid
a biotech company working on research into
cannabinoids, the active compounds in the cannabis plant.

Tobacco giants are the latest in a line of consumer
companies evaluating the burgeoning, but volatile, marijuana

Constellation Brands, the beverage maker behind Corona and
paid $4 billion in August for a 38% stake of Canopy Growth
And Coca-Cola is reportedly eyeing a deal to
produce beverages infused with cannabidiol (CBD)
, a
non-psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, for the Canadian

legalized marijuana for all adults
in October.

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