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Philip Morris and Altria stub out $200bn merger

A Juul device
Altria has a 35pc stake in e-cigarette maker Juul Labs Credit: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg

Tobacco giants Philip Morris International and Altria have called off talks to merge the two companies into a $200bn global powerhouse.

The deal between the cigarette makers, announced almost a month ago, would have reunited the tobacco companies a decade after their split.

The combined company was also expected to be better equipped to take advantage of the growing popularity of vaping as traditional cigarettes sales decline.

It follows increased regulatory scrutiny of e-cigarettes after an outbreak of lung diseases and at least eight deaths in America with possible links to vaping.

Philip Morris chief executive André Calantzopoulos said on Wednesday it would now focus on its tobacco heating...

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