Altria Group Inc. /zigman2/quotes/208895754/composite MO +2.35% confirmed Thursday that it has closed a $12.8 billion investment in e-cigarette startup Juul Labs Inc., with the 35% stake valuing Juul at $38 billion. Altria said it will provide Juul with access to its tobacco products retail shelf space, although Juul's flavored products will only be available online. "We are taking significant action to prepare for a future where adult smokers overwhelmingly choose non-combustible products over cigarettes by investing $12.8 billion in JUUL, a world leader in switching adult smokers," said Altria Chief Executive Howard Willard. "We strongly believe that working with JUUL to accelerate its mission will have long-term benefits for adult smokers and our shareholders." The Wall Street Journal had reported Wednesday that Altria was near to deal to invest in Juul. Altria's stock gained 0.3% in premarket trade. It has shed 28% year to date through Wednesday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA +0.83% has slipped 5.7%.
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Altria takes $13 billion stake in e-cigarette maker Juul