Business Secretary wades into cigarette giant Philip Morris’s £1bn bid for Vectura
The Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has intervened in the £1billion takeover of Vectura by cigarette giant Philip Morris.
New York-based Philip Morris, which makes Marlboro, shocked the City last week when it made an offer to buy the Wiltshire-based inhaler maker.
Kwarteng has asked officials to find out what plans Philip Morris has for FTSE 250-listed Vectura, with the Government uncomfortable a cigarette company would seek to profit from conditions such as asthma and lung disease.
Questions: Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng (pictured) has asked officials to find out what plans Philip Morris has for FTSE 250-listed Vectura
The deal has sparked outrage from anti-smoking groups including Cancer Research UK and Action on Smoking and Health.
Jon Ashworth, Labour’s health spokesman, and Ed Miliband, the Labour business spokesman, wrote to Kwarteng over the weekend, urging the Government, under the Enterprise Act 2002 to intervene ‘to mitigate the effects of public health emergencies’.
Vectura is one of the country’s premier respiratory disease companies.
It has been targeted by Philip Morris as the company tries to diversify its business away from harmful tobacco products.