Altria Provides Update on UST Acquisition

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Altria Provides Update on UST Acquisition

RICHMOND, Va. -- Altria Group Inc. and UST Inc. amended the Sept. 7, 2008 agreement for Altria to acquire all outstanding shares of UST, to move the transaction closing date later in 2009.

The original agreement calls for the closing date of the transaction no later than early January 2009, in the event conditions for closing are met prior to the end of 2008, the companies stated.

While Altria has fully committed financing to complete the transaction, the company’s lenders advised it would be preferable to close the transaction in 2009.

In addition, the parties agreed to increase the "reverse termination fee" from $200 million to $300 million, under certain circumstances detailed in the amendment.

Completion of the transaction remains subject to UST shareholder approval and certain other customary closing conditions, including the regulatory review process. The agreement and amendment were filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Sept. 8, and Oct. 3, respectively.