Friday 9 July 2021 10:12 am

Philip Morris to buy British inhaler specialist Vectura for £1bn

Cigarette maker Philip Morris International will buy Vectura Group, a British pharmaceutical company, in a £1.05bn deal as it expands beyond tobacco, and into inhalers.

Vectura had already agreed to a £958m deal with Carlyle Group in May but said it had withdrawn its backing for the offer which would have given shareholders 136p per share, in favour of a higher bid from the tobacco company, according to Reuters.

With the new deal Vectura shareholders will get 150p per share in cash, the companies said in a joint statement. Vectura shares jumped by 12 per cent to 153p as markets opened.

The maker of Marlboro cigarettes had already been exploring opportunities beyond its core products to expand into the wider healthcare market. Philip Morris International said it plans for Vectura to operate as an independent unit and be at the centre of its inhaled therapeutics business.