Marlboro maker places $1.8 billion bet on Canadian pot provider
NEW YORK — One of the world’s biggest tobacco companies is diving into the cannabis market with a $1.8 billion buy-in.
Marlboro maker Altria Group Inc. is taking a 45 percent stake in Cronos Group, the Canadian medical and recreational marijuana provider said Friday.
The deal includes a warrant to acquire additional shares over the next four years that could give Altria, which is based in Richmond, Va., a 55 percent ownership stake in the Toronto company. That would mean Altria’s investment would be in the same league as the $4 billion spent earlier this year by Constellation Brands to acquire shares of Canopy Growth Corp., another Canadian pot producer.
Consumers are expected to spend $57 billion per year worldwide on legal cannabis by 2027.