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Altria Cuts Juul Valuation to Below $5 Billion

Altria Group Inc. slashed the value of its investment in Juul Labs Inc., estimating the e-cigarette maker is worth less than $5 billion, or half as much as Juul says it is now worth.
Juul told employees Thursday it had cut its own internal valuation to $10 billion, down from $13 billion earlier this year.
Either estimate is a sharp decline from the $38 billion valuation Altria put on Juul when the Marlboro maker took a 35% stake in the company about two years ago. The investment made the once-fast-growing vaping company one of the most valuable startups in the world.
Over the past two years, Juul’s sales have tumbled and its growth prospects have darkened. It has faced regulatory crackdowns, lawsuits and investigations into its marketing practices. Juul last month said it was cutting its workforce in half and was considering pulling out of most overseas markets.
Altria now values its stake in Juul, for which it paid $12.8 billion in cash, at $1.6 billion as of Sept. 30.
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