In a move Wall Street analysts are calling “most perplexing,” Philip Morris and Circuit City announced a $7.2 billion merger this morning that will create the world’s largest – and only – consumer electronics retailing tobacco company.
The new entity, officials said, will specialize in marketing several proprietary products, such as the high-definition cigarette, called the Marlboro HD Light; portable music players pre-loaded with up to 8 gigabytes of chewing tobacco; and the Virginia Slim Laptop, an ultra-thin computer that will be marketed toward women.
“Quite honestly, the only reason I can see as to why these two companies are merging is that they’re both based here in Richmond, which, if that’s the case, this is a horrible business decision,” said Virginia Commonwealth University business professor Thomas P. Meyers. “You can point all you want to the recent troubles of Circuit City, or the recession, or the anti-tobacco movement as a catalyst for this partnership, but no matter what, this is just one wacky merger.”
Meyers said he hasn’t seen a merger this absurd since 2002, when Capital One and Richmond gay nightclub Barcode announced their intent to partner and create the world’s first homosexual credit card company.