Chloe Shakesby

International cigarette firm aims to "disrupt own business" with £1bn UK medical acquisition

An international cigarette company has announced that it is expanding into inhaled therapeutics with the acquisition of a UK medical firm.

Philip Morris International (PMI), based in New York, has reached an agreement for the acquisition of Vectura Group, a Wiltshire company which develops medical inhalation solutions.

The acquisition values Vectura Group at £1.045bn, and is part of PMI’s aim to “disrupt its own business”, evolving into a health and wellness company.

The deal, which will see Vectura continue to operate as an autonomous business unit from the UK, has superseded the previous offer that Vectura had received from Carlyle Europe Partners.

Bruno Angelici, Vectura’s chairman, commented: The acquisition by PMI recognises Vectura’s differentiated technologies, skills and expertise in inhalation and the continued development and supply of important medicines to patients.

“We recognise the material increase in the price offered to shareholders under the acquisition when compared with the Carlyle offer and have accordingly recommended the acquisition to shareholders.

“The acquisition will provide our people with the opportunity to form the backbone of an autonomous inhaled therapeutic business unit of PMI, helping develop products to improve patients’ lives and address unmet medical needs.”

Jacek Olczak, PMI’s chief executive officer, said: “We are delighted to welcome Vectura’s great people and management team to join us in the next stage of our mission to improve people’s lives through innovative developments in science and technology.

“We see Vectura’s combination of device, formulation and development capabilities for inhaled therapeutics as highly complementary to our existing expertise, pipeline and experience in aerosolisation.

“The market for inhaled therapeutics is large and growing rapidly, with significant opportunities to address unmet needs.

“By joining forces and investing our resources in the continued scientific excellence of our two companies we can secure critical capabilities to accelerate our long-term growth in Beyond Nicotine products, which is a core strategic focus for PMI.

“We aim to achieve the first milestone of at least $1bn in Beyond Nicotine net revenues by 2025 as we continue to evolve into a broader healthcare and wellness company.”

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