Blu Cigs, an industry dinosaur and viewed by many as one of the leading e-cigarette brands, has sold their brand today. The Blu Cigs brand will now be owned by Lorillard, Inc. Actually, it’s subsidiary, Lorillard Tobacco Company, will be the holding company by all accounts of the story online. The deal was for a reported $135 million, making it the first and richest acquisition in the e-cigarette space.
This is a serious dose of good news for electronic cigarette users and companies. Clearly, electronic cigarettes have gone well past the point of no return in society and are a staple for all to use and distribute. There was a brief period where the future of electronic cigarettes was unknown, but it looks like this acquisition puts all of the uncertainty in the rear-view mirror.
I’m happy for Blu Cigs, who has had a spot on my e-cigarette blog since inception in 2009. I’ve interacted with people in their organization several times and they have always been cordial. Their product and customer service has been debated at times, but there is no debating the sheer size of Blu Cigs operation and the places they are going. Currently, they are selling their disposable e-cigarettes in Walgreens. This new deal should put Blu Cigs in more convenience stores and probably even some big box retailers.
I have to admit, I didn’t recognize the name Lorillard, but after some research, I was quite impressed.
Turns out, the brand Lorillard is one of the oldest and largest companies in America!
Lorillard is the third largest manufacturer of cigarettes in the US, which officially shows everyone that Big Tobacco has a desire to get some skin in the e-cig game. I like the fact that e-cigarette brands are now officially being picked up by tobacco brands – we’ll see a lot more marketing, that’s for sure.
If any of you menthol smokers out there have heard of – ahem – NEWPORT – you already know of Lorillard. Being a menthol smoker myself, and a fan of Newport cigarettes, this makes the acquisition hit home for me. I was not aware that Newport was the top selling menthol cigarette in the US, as the press release reports. I knew they were large, but wow, that’s impressive. (Then again, they are the only brand that focuses exclusively on menthol to my knowledge – can anyone dispute that?)
Other brands owned by the company include Kent, Old Gold, True, and Maverick. The company is located in Greensboro, North Carolina – in the same State as Blu Cigs offices.
It’s a great day for electronic cigarettes – my hat is off to the whole team at Blu Cigs!