Altria reported a US$4.1 billion write-down on its Juul Labs investment on Thursday, January 20, another sizable charge as the vaping crisis continues to roil the e-cigarette industry, reported The Wall Street Journal.
The company now values its 35% percent stake in the e-cigarette company at US$4.2 billion, a significant drop from the US$12.8 billion it paid in December 2018. Three months ago, Altria, one of the world’s largest tobacco sellers, devalued its investment in Juul by US$4.5 billion.
Altria, the maker of Marlboro cigarettes, stated its fourth-quarter charge was largely because of the growing number of legal cases pending against Juul, which increased by more than 80% percent since the end of October.
Howard Willard, chief executive of Altria, said that despite “the unexpected challenges” Juul faces, the company had made progress in its noncombustible platform with the IQOS e-cigarette and on nicotine pouches.
Full Content: Wall Street Journal
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