E-Cig meets the Marlboro Man

greensmokeSteve’s breakdown: We’ve been telling y’all to keep an eye on this category and hopefully you’ve been on it. And talk about deep pockets! Green Smoke is about to catch on fire.

RICHMOND, VA: Altria Group, Inc. (Altria) (NYSE:MO) today announced that its subsidiary, Nu Mark LLC (Nu Mark), entered into an agreement to acquire the e-vapor business of Green Smoke, Inc. and its affiliates (Green Smoke) for approximately $110 million in cash, subject to closing adjustments, and up to $20 million in incentive payments.

“Nu Mark’s entry into the e-vapor category with its MarkTen product was an important development in Altria’s innovation strategy. Adding Green Smoke’s significant e-vapor expertise and experience, along with its supply chain, product lines and customer service, will complement Nu Mark’s capabilities and enhance its competitive position,” said Marty Barrington, Altria’s Chairman and CEO. “Further, Green Smoke’s culture of innovation and history of producing high-quality products are consistent with Altria’s culture.”

Green Smoke was founded in 2008 and has operations in the United States and Israel. Green Smoke has sold e-vapor products since 2009 and its revenues for 2013 were approximately $40 million. Green Smoke sells premium products, with most of its sales in the United States. Its product lines, which are sold under the Green Smoke e-vapor brand, include both rechargeable and disposable versions. Green Smoke brings a team of talented employees with significant experience in developing, manufacturing and marketing high-quality e-cigarettes.

The agreement contains provisions to retain key management infrastructure and talent. Subject to closing conditions, Nu Mark anticipates that the transaction will be completed in the second quarter of 2014.

“We are very pleased to be joining the Altria family of companies,” said Robert Levitz, Green Smoke’s CEO. “We are dedicated to innovation and believe joining Nu Mark will help us deepen that expertise and create new opportunities for our customers, our employees and our products.”

Altria’s Profile

Altria directly or indirectly owns 100% of each of Philip Morris USA Inc, U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company LLC, John Middleton Co., Nu Mark, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates Ltd. and Philip Morris Capital Corporation. Altria holds a continuing economic and voting interest in SABMiller plc.

The brand portfolios of Altria’s tobacco operating companies include Marlboro®, Black & Mild®, Copenhagen®, Skoal® and MarkTen™. Ste. Michelle produces and markets premium wines sold under various labels, including Chateau Ste. Michelle®, Columbia Crest®, 14 Hands® and Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars®, and it imports and markets Antinori®, Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte™ and Villa Maria Estate™ products in the United States. Trademarks and service marks related to Altria referenced in this release are the property of Altria or its subsidiaries or are used with permission. More information about Altria is available at altria.com.

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