25 October 2021
Alex Ralph. Source: The Times
Philip Morris says letter to business secretary ‘entirely appropriate’
Concerns have increased that Philip Morris International will use its £1 billion takeover of Vectura to legitimise the tobacco industry’s participation in public health after its chief executive was accused of lobbying the government over the deal.
Jacek Olczak wrote to Kwasi Kwarteng, the business secretary, on the day Philip Morris unveiled its surprise 165p-a-share cash offer for the respiratory drugs company in July, seeking a meeting to “talk more about our plans for PMI and Vectura’s operation in the UK”.
Olczak also mentioned jobs in his letter to promote the takeover, saying that the “UK, where we have nearly 1,000 employees, is an important market for PMI and this transaction underscores its ongoing attractiveness”.
The letter, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, has