Phillip Morris swoops

Marlboro cigarette giant seals deal for inhaler firm

Phillip Morris manufactures top brands (pic: Luc Van Loon)

Marlboro cigarette maker Philip Morris International (PMI) has completed its controversial £1.1 billion takeover of the UK inhaler firm Vectura.

PMI said its £1.65 per share bid had secured support from holders of almost three-quarters of Vectura’s shares.

Vectura makes inhaled medicines and devices to treat respiratory illnesses such as asthma and had been urged by health groups to reject PMI’s approaches.

Sarah Woolnough, chief executive of Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation, said: “Vectura has sold out millions of people with lung disease, and instead prioritised short-term financial gain over the long-term viability of Vectura as a business.

She added that the fact Vectura is now owned by a tobacco company could cause “considerable problems”, such as the firm being excluded from research trials.

However, PMI argued that it is on the journey to healthier products and that this deal represents a key milestone.

Danni Hewson AJ Bell financial analyst, said: “Despite the ethical outcry, Vectura shareholders have succumbed to Big Tobacco’s big pockets. 

“It will raise a few eyebrows not least because the deal was seen as a chance to weigh up exactly how some of the city’s big names were really walking the ESG walk they’ve talked so loudly about embracing.

“Phillip Morris was relentless, it needed to be if it’s going to stand any chance of making good on its plans to generate at least $1bn from “Beyond Nicotine” products by 2025.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked as *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.