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(Reuters) – Marlboro cigarette maker Altria Group Inc (MO.N) will buy a 35 percent stake in Juul Labs Inc for $12.8 billion, a marriage between an old-line tobacco giant and a fast-growing electronic-cigarette rival looking to make inroads among smokers cufflinks brands in india uk online. The deal, announced on Thursday, values San Francisco-based Juul at $38 billion, more than double the roughly $16 billion valuation it achieved in a July private funding round, highlighting what Altria sees as a growth path in the face of declining cigarette sales..

“We are taking significant action to prepare for a future where adult smokers overwhelmingly choose non-combustible products over cigarettes,” Altria Chief Executive Howard Willard said in a statement cufflinks brands in india uk online. The connection to Altria is expected to get Juul, which has risen swiftly over the last three years to become the U.S. market leader in e-cigarettes, more prominent distribution in convenience stores and other traditional retail channels, as well as such promotion as advertisements in traditional packs of cigarettes..

Altria brings decades of lobbying expertise in Washington that could benefit Juul as the company navigates heightened federal scrutiny of its products’ popularity among teenagers. “Our success ultimately depends on our ability to get our product in the hands of adult smokers and out of the hands of youth,” Juul Chief Executive Kevin Burns said in a statement Thursday, adding that Altria’s expertise will aid in those efforts cufflinks brands in india uk online. Tying up with a tobacco company, however, carries reputational risks for the e-cigarette startup, which has formed a company culture around “disrupting one of the world’s largest and oldest industries,” according to its recruiting materials..

Under terms of the deal, Altria may not buy additional Juul shares or mount a takeover attempt for four years. Nor can Altria sell or transfer any Juul shares for six years or participate in the e-vapor category except through Juul for that period. The deal, which is subject to antitrust clearance, would give Altria the right to nominate directors representing a third of Juul’s board, the cigarette giant said. Juul’s devices, which vaporize a nicotine-laced liquid and resemble a USB flash drive, have grown from 13.6 percent of the market in early 2017 to more than 75 percent this month, according to a Wells Fargo analysis of Nielsen retail data. In its release Thursday, Altria said Juul represented approximately 30 percent of the U.S. e-cigarette space, when factoring in online sales and products in specialty stores such as vape shops cufflinks brands in india uk online.

The vapor products market, which includes e-cigarettes, is still just a small fraction of the size of the market for cigarettes cufflinks brands in india uk online. Vapor products was a $4.6 billion market in the United States last year, according to data firm Euromonitor International, compared with the nearly $94 billion cigarette market. Euromonitor projects the U.S. vapor market will nearly triple in size to $11.7 billion by 2022. E-cigarettes have been a divisive topic in the public health community, offering an alternative to the nicotine in cigarettes without the same toxic and cancer-causing chemicals. But there are concerns around creating new nicotine dependence, as teens are drawn to appealing candy and dessert flavor varieties..