Altria Group Inc., the largest cigarette maker in the U.S., led borrowers selling or planning to issue at least $8.3 billion of dollar-denominated bonds today as it raised $3.2 billion to help fund a tender offer.
The $1.5 billion U.S. electronic- cigarette industry has tripled sales this year with the help of TV ads, Nascar sponsorships and product giveaways. Government regulation may now threaten those marketing tactics.
Bonds issued by New York local governments and payable by revenue from a national settlement with major tobacco companies will get a boost from an arbitration panel’s decision to order the companies to pay the state more than $92 million, said Richard Larkin, director of credit analysis at Herbert J. Sims & Co.
Cigarette makers including Altria Group Inc.’s Philip Morris USA unit lost a bid to end court monitoring of their marketing practices established under the U.S. government’s 13-year-old racketeering lawsuit.
U.S. tobacco companies including Altria Group Inc.’s Philip Morris USA were told by a judge they must publish warnings with their products, in advertisements and on their websites saying they lied to the public about the health hazards of smoking.