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Altria now taps U.S. bond market after Europe to fund Juul deal


A sign advertising Juul brand vaping products is seen outside a shop in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., February 6, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Segar

(Reuters) – Marlboro maker Altria said on Tuesday it would issue bonds in the United States to help fund its purchase of a stake in fast-growing e-cigarette company Juul, a day after announcing a similar move in the European bond market.

The Richmond, Virginia-based tobacco company will issue the U.S. bonds in six tranches in denominations of $2,000 as it looks to pre-pay a term loan arranged by JPMorgan Chase, Altria said in a regulatory filing.

Altria said in December it was using a nearly $15 billion term-loan facility with JPMorgan to finance the $12.8 billion price tag for a 35 percent stake in Juul Labs Inc. The loan matures in December this year.

The money being raised will support Altria’s purchase of Juul as well as Canadian cannabis producer Cronos Group, which it announced in December.

Its European bond issue is expected to raise 4.25 billion euros ($4.80 billion) in a four-part sale.

Reporting by Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar



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