A previous Nielsen analysis released last Summer had already shown that the US market gap between Vuse and Juul was widening given the uncertainty of Juul’s future. This previous analysis covered the four-week period ending August 13th, and found that Vuse’s market share had risen from 37.4% in the previous report to 39%, while Juul’s had declined from 30.7% to 29.4%.
Meanwhile given recent events, last month it was reported that Juul is in talks with three tobacco giants Philip Morris International Inc (PM.N), Japan Tobacco Group (2914.T) and Altria Group Inc (MO.N), over an investment deal. The report also revealed that Juul had to be bailed out by board members and is planning to lay off about 400 people, in a bid to avoid bankruptcy.
However, more recent reports revealed that Altria’s $12.8bn investment in Juul Labs was now worth only $250mn. As a result of all the lawsuits and the pending PMTAs situation that Juul has faced in the last few years, Altria’s stock had dropped.
To this effect the tobacco giant exchanged its 35% stake in Juul for intellectual property rights to some of the group’s heated tobacco prototypes. Prior to this, the tobacco company had not been able to conduct any business with any other vape brand if not through Juul. Altria chief executive, Billy Gifford, said that exiting the deal with Juul was the “appropriate path forward for our business”.
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