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UNITED STATES

Altria invests in oral nicotine market

03 Jun 2019. Altria is taking an 80 per cent stake in the global business of Swiss tobacco company Burger Söhne Holding AG for USD 372 million (EUR 333 million), Altria said in a press release.

Altria said it will distribute Burger Söhne's smokeless oral nicotine pouches on!, that are already sold in the US, Sweden and Japan. on! is a nicotine pouch in the oral tobacco-derived nicotine (TDN) category. The broad on! portfolio consists of seven flavours and five nicotine strengths for a total of 35 SKUs, the press release said.

“We’re excited to add on! to our companies’ terrific non-combustible portfolio,” Howard Willard, Altria’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, was quoted as saying. “Through our companies and investments, we have access to the leading products and brands in the moist smokeless tobacco, e-vapour and heated tobacco categories. This acquisition will add another non-combustible product to our portfolio in what we believe is a high-potential, rapidly-developing oral TDN products category.”

According to the press release, once the sale is completed in the second half of the year, Burger Söhne will operate under Altria’s newly formed subsidiary Helix Innovations.

“We’re excited to put our resources behind on! and participate in what we expect to be a fast-growing category. Combining our deep understanding of adult tobacco consumers and Altria’s best-in-class sales and distribution infrastructure, we expect to drive the on! brand toward sustainable, long-term leadership,” Allison Bolyard, Senior Director and General Manager of Helix, was quoted as saying. According to IRI, in 2018, sales of TDN products grew to around USD 60 million (EUR 53.7 million) in the US, demonstrating approximately 250 per cent growth compared to 2017.