U.S. SEC probes Altria's investment in Juul: WSJ

  • In Business
  • 2020-02-21 21:24:09Z
  • By Reuters
U.S. SEC probes Altria
U.S. SEC probes Altria's investment in Juul: WSJ  

(Reuters) - U.S. regulators have opened a probe regarding Marlboro maker Altria Group Inc's <MO.N> investment in e-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating if the Marlboro maker adequately disclosed the risks to its shareholders when it spent $12.8 billion in 2018 for a 35% stake in the start-up, the report said https://www.wsj.com/articles/sec-investigates-altrias-investment-in-juul-11582317475.

Altria has recorded $8.6 billion in impairment charges since investing in Juul in December 2018, bringing the value of its investment to $4.2 billion by end of 2019.

Both companies have responded to the SEC's subpoenas, WSJ said, citing some of the people.

Juul has turned over documents including correspondence with Altria and financial projections Juul shared with Altria before the deal, the WSJ report said, citing one of the people.

Juul and Altria did not immediately respond to Reuters request for comment.

(Reporting by Praveen Paramasivam in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)


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The U.S. Federal Trade Commission said on Wednesday it had filed a complaint aimed at forcing Marlboro maker Altria Group to sell its investment in e-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc. The FTC has probed Altria's decision to buy a 35% stake in Juul, announced in December 2018, for $12.8 billion. The value of the investment has dwindled to $4.2 billion, following a series of writedowns last year, as Juul faced litigation and heightened regulatory scrutiny over its contribution to a surge in teenage vaping.

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