Tobacco producer Altria, owner of the Marlboro brand, is in early talks with the executive team of Cronos Group in regards to an acquisition.
Altria has been shopping around for a new subsidiary, or maybe even two.
First, there were rumors circling that Altria may acquire JUUL, an electronic cigarette manufacturer that spun off from Pax Labs. Earlier this year, Altria was rumored to be interested in acquiring Aurora Cannabis, but later denied that rumor.
However, this time the rumors are confirmed and true—Altria may be acquiring Cronos Group, one of the 4 Canadian LP’s listed on the US stock exchange.
Seeing how cigarette smoking has seen a downward trend in the last couple of years, Altria may be looking into diverting from tobacco and moving into cannabis.
After all, cannabis and vaping have seen an extreme rise in popularity over the last couple of years. To add to that, legislation has been moving in the same directions as well.
Did Altria give up on Aphria?
Aphria saw a 30% drop in its stock value yesterday after an article published by the Hindenburg Research (which revealed possible secrets about assets in Latin America) went viral.
But, several weeks ago, Aphria was also rumored to be in talks with Altria.
Neither Aphria nor Altria confirmed or commented on these rumors, but now that we know for sure Altria is shopping around for a cannabis company it is quite possible that they were talking to Aphria as well.
That begs a very provocative question: If they were indeed in talks but didn’t want to confirm, is it because Aphria had something to hide?
Did the analysts from Altria see the same risks involved with the Latin American assets Aphria has, as the publishers of the Hindenburg article?
It is my assumption that even if there was contact between Aphria and Altria, there wasn’t that much depth to their conversation. They didn’t get to the point of looking into each other’s books.
Either way, Altria moved on from Aphria and found a new possible partner in Cronos Group. Whether it will be a good partnership, we’re yet to see.