Why Altria Dominated After Divesting Kraft and Philip Morris

In 2008 and 2009, during the heat of the financial crisis, Altria sold off its real estate divisions, and then spun off Kraft to its existing shareholders, and followed this move with the subsequent divestiture of Philip Morris International.

It was an eyebrow-raising move because the 1970s tobacco executives believed that the sale of cigarettes would eventually come to an end in the United States, so the obvious response was to load up on food companies that would serve as a bridge of shareholder continuity when the tobacco music stopped (most notably, the old Philip Morris acquired Kraft and the the old Reynolds acquired Nabisco).

Altria decided in 2008 that it wanted to become a pure-play American tobacco manufacturer and chose to divest of everything but its American tobacco brands, a 10.2% ownership stake in what is now Anheuser-Busch Inbev, and a small random winery that accounts for 0.4% of Read the rest of this article!