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Philip Morris International takes control of asthma inhaler manufacturer Vectura

Philip Morris calls for a cigarette ban in the UK by 2030
Philip Morris International takes control of asthma inhaler manufacturer Vectura

The manufacturer of Marlboro and Parliament’s cigarettes said in a statement on Thursday that it had secured almost 75% of Vectura’s shares, making it a majority shareholder. More than 45% of Vectura shareholders accepted the takeover bid, and Philip Morris International bought 29% of the company’s shares on the open market.

“We have reached an important milestone in our acquisition of Vectura,” said Jacek Olczak, CEO of Philip Morris International (PM), it says in a statement. “We are very excited about the critical role Vectura will play in our Beyond Nicotine strategy.”
The acquisition increases the tobacco company’s efforts to generate more than half of its net revenue from smoke-free products such as e-cigarettes and respiratory medicine within four years, up from about a quarter today. PMI currently sells cigarettes in more than 175 markets.
Vectura has manufactured 13 inhaled drugs for companies such as Novartis (NVS) and GlaxoSmithKline (GLAXF) for the treatment of lung disorders including asthma.

Critics said they would continue to fight the £ 1bn ($ 1.4bn) takeover. On Thursday, 35 charities, public health experts and clinicians sent a letter to British Health Minister Jo Churchill asking the government to intervene.

“We think it is clear that this agreement is not in the public interest and that it creates perverse incentives for [Philip Morris International] to increase the harm of smoking so that they can then make money again by treating smoking-related diseases, ”wrote signatories including the British Lung Foundation and Cancer Research UK in the letter.

Kjeld Hansen, chairman of the European Lung Foundation, said he was “very disappointed” that the agreement was terminated.

“The prospect that someone will potentially make money selling a product that harms the lungs and another that treats the lung disease it causes is unconcerned. For someone living with a lung disease, the sale is devastating,” he said. Hansen in a statement.

Philip Morris International was separated from Altria (MO) in 2008. Altria owns Philip Morris USA, which sells cigarette brands including Marlboro, Virginia Slims, Parliament and Merit in the USA.

– Hanna Ziady contributed with reporting.

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