Switzerland-based tobacco company Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE: PM) has announced its partnership with South Korea's KT&G Corporation's (OTC: KTCIF) and its plans to distribute vape products outside the country.
The tobacco giant, best known for its "Marlboro" line of cigarettes, is seeking "transformation" for a "smoke-free future."
KT&G sells its electronic cigarettes under the brand "Lil" that include heat-not-burn tobacco systems, e-vapor products, and their hybrids.
Philip Morris will have the right to distribute the Lil products outside of South Korea for three years, but the agreement will not restrict it from marketing its own products or other third-party products.
Philip Morris has its own line of heat-not-burn tobacco called IQOS.
"While...we plan to broaden our portfolio by launching IQOS MESH in the coming months, we believe that increased collaboration will benefit adult smokers by providing greater choice and drive accelerated adoption of smoke-free products worldwide," the company's CEO, André Calantzopoulos, said in a statement.
The tobacco maker said that it has no plans to commercialize KT&G products in the United States, where the Food and Drug Administration has banned a majority of flavored nicotine vaporizers.
Philip Morris' shares closed slightly lower at $84.68 on Tuesday.
KT&G's shares traded 2.79% higher at $81.39 in Seoul on Wednesday at press time.
Photo Credit: Public domain photo via Wikimedia.