Followups – July 2019
Altria’s latest investment continues diversification
Henrico County-based Altria Group Inc. plans to pay $372 million for an 80% stake in a Swiss company that makes oral nicotine products.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch and other news outlets reported in early June that the investment in certain companies of Burger Söhne Holding AG continues Altria’s diversification effort.
Its largest business is Philip Morris USA, the maker of Marlboro cigarettes. As cigarette sales decline, Altria has sought to offer smokers alternative products. Burger Söhne makes a smokeless pouch product called On!, which contains nicotine but no tobacco.
The deal follows two other recent moves by Altria into developing markets. In December, the company announced plans to invest $1.8 billion in Canada-based Cronos Group Inc., which produces and sells medicinal marijuana products. During the same month, Altria spent $12.8 billion for an ownership stake in the rapidly growing electronic cigarette company Juul Labs Inc.
Virginia Business examined the implications of Altria’s Cronos and Juul deals in its March issue.
Loudoun County ice rink opens
The ION International Training Center, a Leesburg ice arena owned by former Olympic figure skater Luiz Taifas, held its grand opening in mid-June.
ION is a year-round, 100,000-square-foot, twin-sheet indoor ice rink and arena. The facility has two National Hockey League-size rinks that cater to recreational and professional figure skaters, ice dancers, pair skaters, synchronized skaters and hockey players.
A story in the magazine’s May issue looked at the way ION is expected to raise Loudoun’s profile as a sports destination.