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4 Ecigarette Start-ups that have been acquired by Big Tobacco for Big Bucks


4 Ecigarette Start-ups that have been acquired by Big Tobacco for Big Bucks

Whether you’re talking about a home care franchise business or the hottest new ecig venture, start-up businesses can often have a long road ahead of them unless they are acquired by a larger and more resourceful company. Being one of the hottest new trends around the world, shamelessly promoted by many celebs, it is no wonder that a number of electronic cigarette companies have popped up seemingly overnight. With so many new start-up ventures hoping to be acquired by big tobacco companies, what sets these four apart from the rest?

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Lorillard, America’s oldest continually operating tobacco business ventured into the world of the healthier alternative of smoking, be acquiring ‘Blucigs’ in 2012, one of the most well-known brands of electronic cigarettes. Blucigs are famously vaped by a number of influential celebrities, with the acquisition said to cost a notable $135 million.

Green Smoke

Nu Mark, a subsidiary of Altria, announced last month that they would team up with ‘Green Smoke Inc.’ for the small sum of $110 million cash, plus a further $20 million in incentive payments, as a way to get a foot in the door to the newest ecigarette business. The company released the following statement, showing what significant traits are most helpful for startup business hoping to team up with an industry leader – “Adding Green Smoke’s significant e-vapor expertise and experience, along with its supply chain, product lines and customer service, will complement Nu Mark’s capabilities and enhance its competitive position,” said Marty Barrington, Altria’s Chairman and CEO. “Further, Green Smoke’s culture of innovation and history of producing high-quality products are consistent with Altria’s culture.”


In late 2013, Lorillard announced the acquisition of yet another ecig start-up company, SKYCIG, after the success obtained from their acquisition of Blucigs in 2012. Lorillard was the first of the ‘three big tobacco companies’ in the US to partner themselves with the electronic cigarette industry, in what seems to be a smart move that many have followed. SKYCIG is the leading retailer for ecigs in the United Kingdom, further assisting Lorillard in dominating the ecig trade around the world.


Victory Ecigs payed $70 million in a combination of stocks and cash to acquire the start-up electronic cigarette company Vapestick. Global market consolidation is in the crosshairs for Victory, with this acquisition adding to their latest ongoing quest to become the leading ecig organisation in Europe.

While these four start-up companies have been flung into the fast paced world of success, it seems as though big tobacco companies aren’t stopping here. With vaping already being a lucrative industry in both America and Europe, with Australia following close behind, tobacco companies are keeping a close eye on up and coming start-up ventures, to secure more acquisitions in order to monopolise the electronic cigarette craze.

Name or brand recognition provides a great incentive for big tobacco companies to invest into smaller businesses, such as BLACKHAWX, a UK based company, who have created an image around their brand that any style conscious vaper would be proud to associate themselves with. Remember that other than the rare exception, most start-ups are acquired by big companies because they have something unique to offer – there are hundreds of electronic cigarette companies out there, so what makes yours stand out from the rest?

I am the founder of Startup Today. I am the main writer and have put in many hours of work into creating this blog. If you want to find out more about me then lets get in contact.

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