Altria (MO) to Divest Ste. Michelle Wine Estates Business

Altria Group, Inc. MO is undertaking dedicated endeavors to bolster presence in non-combustible business amid rising popularity of less harmful alternatives to cigarettes. In sync with this strategy, the company through its subsidiary — UST LLC — signed an agreement to offload Ste. Michelle Wine Estates (Ste. Michelle) business to private equity firm, Sycamore Partners Management, L.P.

The transaction — which is likely to conclude in the second half of 2021 — is priced at $1.2 billion on a cash basis and the assumption of specific Ste. Michelle liabilities. Altria expects to utilize the net proceeds arising from the deal for share buybacks to boost shareholders’ wealth. The deal allows the company to enhance the transition of adult smokers to a non-combustible future.

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