22nd Century Group Explores Strategic Alternatives for Tobacco Assets

The review process is intended to consider the long-term potential and best ways to monetize various tobacco products.
Amanda Koprowski
Associate Editor
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BUFFALO, N.Y. — The board of directors of 22nd Century Group Inc. has started to evaluate strategic alternatives in regards to the company's tobacco assets. 

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The process was initiated in consultation with the group's financial and legal advisors, and will include consideration of a range of strategic, operational, and financial transactions and alternatives, such as business combinations, asset sales, licensing agreements and alternate financing strategies.

"We believe the current market capitalization of the company does not appropriately reflect the value of our assets or their long-term potential. After extensive discussion, our board has determined that the best way to maximize value for shareholders is to comprehensively evaluate the company's strategic alternatives," said Nora Sullivan, chair of the board of 22nd Century. "Through the strategic alternatives process, we hope to identify ways to monetize the value or more effectively expand the market reach of our tobacco portfolio, including our innovative VLN tobacco harm reduction products, the first and only combustible tobacco product to receive a Modified Risk Tobacco Product designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration [FDA]."

22nd Century engaged TD Cowen as advisors in its review of strategic alternatives. Whatever suggestions might be forwarded as options, the company states there is currently no assurance that the process will result in the approval or completion of any specific transaction or outcome.

The group has not established a timeline for completion of the review process and does not intend to disclose developments unless and until the board approves a specific transaction, concludes the review, or determines that further disclosure is appropriate or is required.

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22nd Century Group Inc. is an agricultural biotechnology company focused on tobacco harm reduction, reduced nicotine tobacco, and improving health and wellness through plant science. The company has developed proprietary reduced nicotine content tobacco plants and cigarettes and as of December 2021, received the first and only FDA Modified Risk Tobacco Product authorization for a combustible cigarette. In tobacco, hemp/cannabis and hop plants, 22nd Century uses modern plant breeding technologies, including genetic engineering, gene-editing, and molecular breeding to deliver solutions for the life science and consumer products industries.