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Altria Sees $483 Million Charge to Abandon Cronos Warrant

Altria Group (US:MO), a leading tobacco company active in the cannabis industry, said Monday that it abandoned its warrant to buy more Cronos Group (CA:CRON, US:CRON) shares and would see a $483 million loss on its 2022 U.S. federal consolidated income tax return.

Altria made the call as Cronos’s shares closed at CAD$3.81 on Dec. 15, well below their $19 a share March 2023 exercise price.

Altria, through its subsidiary Altria Summit LLC, acquired a 45% Cronos and the warrant in March 2019. If exercised, Altria’s would have increased to 52%. Altria said it would continue to hold its current 156.6 million shares for investment purposes and will evaluate whether to acquire or dispose of additional shares in the future.

In addition to its Cronos investment, in December 2018, the company invested $1.8 billion in JUUL Labs and several other cannabis and cannabis-related companies, including Anheuser-Busch InBev’s cannabis-infused beverage partnership with Tilray (US:TLRY) Inc., Green Thumb Industries, Inc., and Stadion Money Management.

JUUL Labs is a leading e-cigarette and vaping company that has faced significant regulatory and legal challenges in recent years. The company has faced criticism and scrutiny over its marketing practices, particularly its appeal to youth, and several investigations and lawsuits. In September 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) launched a criminal investigation into JUUL’s marketing practices. The company has faced numerous class action lawsuits related to its marketing and the potential health risks of its products.

This article originally appeared on Fintel

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