Philip Morris to buy nicotine gum maker Fertin Pharma in push for smoke-free products

(Reuters) – Philip Morris International Inc will buy nicotine gum maker Fertin Pharma from private equity firm EQT for 5.1 billion Danish Krone ($813.1 million), the cigarette maker said on Thursday, as it looks to build its smoke-free portfolio.

Fertin Pharma products include chewing gums, tablets and powders that are used for pharmaceutical- and nutraceutical applications and helps people quit harmful cigarette smoking.

Philip Morris has invested more than $8.1 billion over the years to develop smoke-free products, an area of business that it believes ” will one day replace cigarettes.”

It plans to generate more than 50% of its revenue from smoke-free products and at least $1 billion from products beyond nicotine by 2025.

The company is also focusing on its e-cigarette brand IQOS as people move away from combustible tobacco products like cigarettes.

In 2020, nearly three billion Nicotine Replacement Therapy doses were manufactured, that helped more than 3.2 million people reduce and quit smoking, Fertin Pharma said.

The deal is expected to close later in 2021.

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