Shares of Altria Group Inc. (MO) rallied 1.5% in afternoon trade Wednesday, to bounce off the previous session's 3 1/2-year closing low, after The Wall Street Journal reported that the cigarette seller was near a deal to take a 35% stake in e-cigarette startup Juul Labs Inc. The WSJ had earlier reported on the discussions ( ). Citing people familiar with the matter, Wednesday's WSJ report said the $12.8 billion deal could be announced as early as this week, and value Juul at roughly $38 billion. The report comes nearly two weeks after Altria agreed to take a $1.8 billion stake in Canada-based cannabis company Cronos Group Inc. (CRON.T). The report also comes about a month after Juul planned ( ) to stop selling most of its flavored nicotine liquids at retailers, as it faced a crackdown by the Food and Drug Administration ( ) on flavored pod-style e-cigarettes. Altria's stock has tumbled 28% year to date, while the S&P 500 has slipped 4.0%.
-Tomi Kilgore; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
December 19, 2018 13:33 ET (18:33 GMT)
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