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Altria to buy e-cigarette maker Green Smoke
February 3rd, 2014
RICHMOND, Va. – Altria Group Inc. plans to acquire the electronic cigarette business of Green Smoke Inc. in a $110 million cash deal.
Altria said Monday that the acquisition agreement, being made via its Nu Mark LLC subsidiary, includes up to $20 million in incentive payments and is expected to close in the second quarter, subject to closing conditions.
Green Smoke will join Altria's brand portfolio of tobacco operating companies, which include Marlboro, Black & Mild, Copenhagen, Skoal and MarkTen. Altra entered the e-cigarette market last year with the launch of MarkTen.
"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," stated Marty Barrington, Altria chairman and chief executive officer. "Further, Green Smoke's culture of innovation and history of producing high-quality products are consistent with Altria's culture."
Founded in 2008, Green Smoke has operations in the United States and Israel. The company has sold e-cigarette products since 2009, mostly in the United States, and posted sales of about $40 million last year. Its products, sold under the Green Smoke brand, include both rechargeable and disposable e-cigarette versions.
According to Altria, the agreement contains provisions to retain key Green Smoke management infrastructure and talent.
"We are very pleased to be joining the Altria family of companies" commented Robert Levitz, Green Smoke 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."