Juul Labs Inc. is currently in the beginning steps of talking about a potential sale, partnership or investment with three tobacco companies, including Phillip Morris International Inc., Japan Tobacco Group and Altria Group Inc.
According to an article from The Wall Street Journal, a deal isn’t imminent, and the discussions might not result in a sale or partnership. Altria, which owns a 35% stake in Juul, valued the vaping company at $1 billion in October.
Juul, which represents 27% of e-cigarettes sold in U.S. stores tracked by Nielsen, reached the brink of bankruptcy last year amid a dispute with federal regulators over whether its products could remain on the U.S. market.
However, after discussing late-stages with Altria last fall, those talks fell apart in September as Juul prepared for a potential bankruptcy filing. After recently reaching back out to Altria, the company can’t buy Juul outright because of antitrust concerns.
Juul Chief Executive K.C. Crosthwaite and other Juul executives traveled this month to Switzerland, where Japan Tobacco and Philip Morris are based, to discuss Juul’s newly expanded options.
There has not been a report on a response from Japan Tobacco and Philip Morris.
Overall, If the U.S. Food and Drug Association (FDA) ultimately puts a stop to Juul’s sales. Juul could seek U.S. authorization for a newer version of its vaporizer that has been released in Canada and the U.K. Juul also has other products under development.