FILE PHOTO: Philip Morris International’s research and development headquarters are pictured next to the company’s cigarette factory in Neuchatel, Switzerland, March 17, 2017. REUTERS/Paritosh Bansal
(Reuters) – Philip Morris International Inc (PM.N) and Altria Group Inc (MO.N) said on Tuesday they were in talks for an all-stock merger, potentially reuniting the tobacco giants after more than a decade.
Altria’s shares rose over 8% in early trading, while Philip Morris fell 5.5%. At current prices, a merger of the two would create a company with market value of more than $200 billion.
In 2008, Altria spun off the Philip Morris International unit in a move aimed at unlocking the value of the fast-growing unit.
The news comes a day after Wells Fargo analyst Bonnie Herzog said e-cigarette company Juul Labs Inc, in which Altria owns a 35% stake, will have an ideal partner for its international expansion in Philip Morris.
Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty