December 7, 2018 / 12:33 PM / a year ago

BUZZ-Altria: Rises on taking $1.8 bln stake in cannabis firm Cronos

** Altria’s shares up 1.8 pct premarket after the Marlboro cigarette maker takes 45 pct stake in cannabis producer Cronos Group for $1.8 bln

** Cronos’s U.S.-listed shares halted for trading pending news, they were last down 2.7 pct at $10.2 premarket

** A 45 pct stake in Cronos was worth $842 mln as of the stock’s close on Thursday, Refinitiv data shows

** Deal also includes warrant for Altria to buy shares in Cronos at C$19/shr, exercisable over four years, which if fully exercised would boost its stake to 55 pct

** CRON has risen 14.2 pct since Monday when Reuters first reported of a possible deal, while MO is off 0.8 pct (Reporting by Savio D’Souza)

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