Altria Group has entered into an agreement to acquire NJOY Holdings for approximately $2.75 billion in cash. The transaction terms include additional $500 million in cash payments that are contingent upon regulatory outcomes with respect to certain NJOY products.
“We believe we can responsibly accelerate U.S. adult smoker and competitive adult vaper adoption of NJOY Ace in ways that NJOY could not as a standalone company,” said Altria CEO Billy Gifford in a statement. “We believe the strengths of our commercial resources can benefit adult tobacco consumers and expand competition. We are also excited to welcome NJOY’s talented employees to Altria at closing.”
“As a result of this transaction, Altria’s enhanced smoke-free portfolio will include full global ownership of products and technologies across the three largest smoke-free categories and a joint venture with JT Group for the U.S. commercialization of heated tobacco stick products.”
“We are excited to add NJOY’s e-vapor intellectual property as a new platform that we believe we can build on to help more adult smokers transition to smoke-free alternatives,” said Olivier Houpert, Altria’s new chief innovation and product officer.
Altria will hold a conference call at 9 a.m. Eastern Time on March 6, 2023. Access to the live webcast is available at. A replay of the webcast and a transcript will be available on the same website following the event.
In 2022, the U.S. vapor category comprised nearly 14 million U.S. adult tobacco consumers, including 9.5 million exclusive adult vapers, according to Altria. The segment generated approximately $7 billion in U.S. retail sales and represented approximately 15 percent of total estimated equivalized U.S. tobacco volumes and more than 50 percent of total estimated equivalized smoke-free tobacco volumes.
To date, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the marketing of 23 vapor products and devices. In 2022, NJOY received marketing granted orders for the NJOY Ace device, along with several tobacco-flavored pods. The regulatory agency is still reviewing NJOY’s premarket tobacco product applications for several NJOY menthol-flavored e-vapor products.
Altria said it had multiple sources of funding for the deal, including cash from a $2.7 billion agreement with Philip Morris International last year for the IQOS Tobacco Heating System.
The NJOY deal follows an announcement by Altria that it would exchange its entire minority investment in embattled Juul Labs for a nonexclusive global license for certain of Juul’s heated tobacco intellectual property.