BUFFALO, N.Y., Sept. 05, 2023 — 22nd Century Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: XXII) (the “Company”) today announced that its Board of Directors, after consultation with its financial and legal advisors, has initiated a process to evaluate strategic alternatives with respect to the Company’s tobacco assets. The process will include consideration of a range of strategic, operational and financial transactions and alternatives, such as business combinations, asset sales, licensing agreements, alternate financing strategies and other options.
“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.”
The Company has engaged TD Cowen as advisors in its review of strategic alternatives. There is no assurance that the strategic alternatives process will result in the approval or completion of any specific transaction or outcome.
The Company has not established a timeline for completion of the review process and does not intend to disclose developments unless and until its Board of Directors approves a specific transaction, concludes the review, or determines that further disclosure is appropriate or is required.
About 22nd Century Group, Inc.
22nd Century Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: XXII) is a leading agricultural biotechnology company focused on tobacco harm reduction, reduced nicotine tobacco and improving health and wellness through plant science. With dozens of patents allowing it to control nicotine biosynthesis in the tobacco plant, the Company has developed proprietary reduced nicotine content (RNC) tobacco plants and cigarettes, which have become the cornerstone of the FDA’s Comprehensive Plan to address the widespread death and disease caused by smoking. The Company received the first and only FDA Modified Risk Tobacco Product (MRTP) authorization for a combustible cigarette in December 2021. 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 by creating new, proprietary plants with optimized alkaloid and flavonoid profiles as well as improved yields and valuable agronomic traits.
Learn more about VLN® at tryvln.com.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 regarding, among other things: future operating and financial performance, including with respect to the Company’s goals and the Company’s review of strategic alternatives. The reader is cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements. These statements are based on current expectations of future events. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or known or unknown risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results could vary materially from the expectations and projections of the Company. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which involve factors or circumstances that are beyond the Company’s control. Actual results could differ materially from those stated or implied in these forward-looking statements due to a number of factors, including but not limited to, risks detailed in the sections entitled “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in the Company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as in the Company’s Current Reports on Form 10-Q. The forward-looking statements included in this press release should not be unduly relied upon, represent the Company’s views only as of the date of this press release and do not represent the Company’s views as of any subsequent date. The Company undertakes no intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, changes in the Company’s expectations or otherwise, except as required by law.