Philip Morris CEO defends the company’s intentions to buy inhaler maker Vectura

Philip Morris International CEO Jacek Olczak defended the tobacco firm’s intentions to buy British pharmaceutical firm Vectura Group, telling CNBC it’s steadfastly dedicated to erasing cigarette use.

“We can stand still and continue selling cigarettes or we can do something with the science and the technology at least to significantly reduce the harm created by smoking,” Olczak mentioned on “Closing Bell.” “I believe what we’re doing is absolutely right. … Nothing and nobody will stop us in our transformations to leave smoking behind.”

Earlier this month, Philip Morris introduced a deal to buy Vectura at an enterprise worth of $1.2 billion. However, the deliberate acquisition was met with hesitancy and criticism from anti-smoking teams and the U.Ok. authorities, which deem a tie-up between a tobacco firm and an organization specializing in inhaled medicines for circumstances comparable to bronchial asthma to be unfit. Tobacco smoke is a “powerful asthma trigger,” according to the Cleveland Clinic.

Philip Morris’ supply for Vectura topped an earlier bid made by the personal fairness agency The Carlyle Group. Olczak mentioned critics of the proposed deal for Vectura “are against the transformation of the tobacco industry.”

Philip Morris, which manufactures and sells cigarettes and smoke-free nicotine merchandise exterior of the U.S., is making an attempt to change its picture. In February, it announced a aim to generate greater than 50% of its whole internet income from smoke-free merchandise by 2025. The firm additionally goals to earn at the very least $1 billion in internet revenues by 2025 simply from its “Beyond Nicotine” merchandise, comparable to respiratory drug supply and “selfcare wellness.”

Shares of Philip Morris fell about 3% on Tuesday after the firm launched its second-quarter monetary outcomes. Revenue of $7.59 billion fell short of a Refinitiv forecast of $7.69 billion. Still, the inventory is up almost 15% yr to date.

Olczak mentioned he believes it was a “very strong second quarter.” He additionally mentioned the firm is extra optimistic about the international financial reopening, notably in the European market, than it was when 2021 started.

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