December 7, 2018 / 1:38 PM / 4 months ago

BUZZ-Cronos: Blazes higher after Altria takes $1.8 bln stake

(Updates Cronos price)

** Cronos Group’s U.S.-listed shares surge 35.3 pct to $14.14 premarket after Altria takes a 45 pct stake in the Canadian cannabis producer for $1.8 bln

** CRON was earlier down 2.7 pct premarket before trading was halted pending news

** Altria up 2 pct after the Marlboro cigarette maker says it will buy 146.2 mln new Cronos shares at C$16.25 each

** Toronto-listed shares of Cronos closed at C$13.98 Thursday, valuing the company at C$2.5 bln ($1.9 bln), according to IBES data from Refinitiv

** Deal includes a 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

** Up to Thursday’s close, CRON had risen ~14 pct since Monday, when Reuters first reported of a possible deal, while MO had dipped 0.8 pct (Reporting by Savio D’Souza)

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