Citing people familiar with the matter, Reuters had earlier reported that Altria, the parent company of Marlboro cigarettes among other brands, has offered to purchase the marijuana producer in order to diversify its business away from tobacco.
“No agreement has been reached with respect to any such transaction and there can be no assurance such discussions will lead to an investment or other transaction involving the companies,” said Cronos in a statement.
Shares of Cronos, which trades on the Nasdaq, were up almost 15% in pre-market trading after closing 11% higher yesterday. The Canadian-based marijuana producer has operations on five continents under various brands. It generated $3.8 million in sales for the third quarter.
This isn’t the first time Altria has made headlines regarding diversification recently, either. In other, related news in the sin stock world, it was also reported late last week that Altria was in talks with the e-cigarette manufacturer, Juul, to gain a minority stake in the company.
Altria, which was formerly called Philip Morris, is a Fortune 200 company based in Richmond, VA. Its roots as a tobacco company date back to 1847 when it was founded in London. It was split off from Philip Morris in 2002. In addition to Marlboro, the company owns the U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company, the maker of Copenhagen dipping tobacco, in addition to other tobacco brands like Nat Sherman. Its subsidiary NuMark is focused on developing and marketing e-vapor products for adult smokers and vapers. It also has a 10 percent equity investment in Anheuser-Busch InBev NV, the maker of Budweiser beer. Altria generated more than $25.5 billion dollars in sales in 2017.