Altria had valued its 35% stake in Juul at $1.6 billion at the end of March. It was valued at $12.8 billion in 2018.
Juul’s e-cigarettes were briefly banned in the United States last month, after the Food and Drug Administration ended a two-year-long review of the company’s data to conclude it failed to show the sale of its products will be appropriate for public health.
However, following an appeal by the company, the health regulator put the ban on hold and agreed to an additional review of Juul’s marketing application.
Altria’s stake in Juul is now valued at just 3.5% of its original value, giving the tobacco giant the option to be released from it non-compete clause and invest or engage in the e-vapor business other than through Juul.
However, Altria said it had opted not to be released form those obligations for now.