Privately traded stock in the famous e-cigarette maker has plunged by more than a third from late last year’s peaks amid widening fears about health crises and government clampdowns.
Several sizable Juul investors want to sell their stakes at prices that value Juul at only about $25 billion, or $175 a share, sources informed The Post. That’s a 35% fall from a December deal during which Altria valued Juul at $38 billion, or $270 a share, the sources mentioned.
A Juul spokesman declined to remark Tuesday.
The heart-stopping drop has occurred rapidly, even if selling Juul’s closely-held shares sometimes takes a couple of weeks, as the company’s bylaws require sellers to offer existing shareholders an opportunity to match a given offer.
In August, Juul shares, of which there are 142 million outstanding, traded as high as $267, based on a source.
However, since then, a slew of scary headlines has ensued, including reports of at least nine deaths and more than 500 illnesses suspected to be related to vaping.
Earlier this month, US regulators announced plans to pull flavored e-cigarettes off the market — a stunning blow to Juul, whose mint-flavored pods made up 75% of whole Juul sales as of August, based on proprietary information from Nielsen obtained by The Post.
The US Attorney in Northern California can also be reportedly launching a criminal probe into Juul, based on the Wall Street Journal.
There’s now a 20% probability that an all-stock merger being mentioned between tobacco giants Philip Morris and Altria won’t happen, Morgan Stanley mentioned Monday, citing “unfavorable regulatory developments impacting Altria’s 35 % stake in Juul.”
Altria shares, which closed at $40.73 on Tuesday, are down 7% since the Food & Drug Administration announced plans to take away e-cigarette flavors. Without a merger, Morgan Stanley expects Altria’s shares to might rise 8%.