UK inhaler firm Vectura support offer from Tobacco giant PMI


Vectura is a British company that produces inhaled medicines and devices to medicate respiratory illnesses e.g. asthma. Vectura Directors have spoken to shareholders and expressed their support for an offer from the Swiss American multinational cigarette and tobacco manufacturing company, which has products sold in over 180 countries. Philip Morris International placed a bid on British pharmaceuticals company, Vectura, at £1 billion.

The cigarette maker, most famous for the sale of Marlboro products, made an offer of £1.65 per share, outdoing private equity group Carlyle, a rival of theirs, whose closing bid was £1.55 per share.

“Many health groups have made a significant effort to convince Vectura to discard the tobacco company's proposal“

Many health groups have made a significant effort to convince Vectura to discard the tobacco company's proposal, cautioning that working with Philip Morris will negatively impact any future projects or plans the pharma company has. This is because esteemed scientists and lung researchers may be reluctant to work with a tobacco company.

Philip Morris International has speculated that they would potentially cease the sale of cigarettes in the UK in a decade because the business will primarily concentrate on substitutes, e.g. heated tobacco. In fact, they said that they would be comfortable with a government ban on cigarettes. They said "strong regulation" was required to "help solve the problem of cigarette smoking once and for all".

A health charity 'Ash' has made a point that these promises are difficult to believe, considering PMI is accountable for over a tenth of cigarettes sold worldwide.

Shadow health secretary for Labour, Jonathan Ashworth, said: "Philip Morris's attempted takeover of a key player in lung health products beggar's belief. It is bitterly disappointing that Vectura have so far failed to exercise duty of care to patients and scientists and reject this takeover by big tobacco."

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