Here’s Why TPG Turned Down Vaping Startup Juul

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

By Lucinda Shen

Though it has raised ethical hackles across the investing sphere, it’s hard to deny that the fast-growing e-cigarette company Juul seems irresistible to investors.

But one of the world’s largest private equity firms, TPG, is steering clear of the company, despite an existing relationship with the e-cigarette maker’s CEO, Kevin Burns. Burns is an alumnus at the PE firm who helped turn around greek yogurt maker Chobani.

“We had an opportunity to invest early on,” TPG Co-CEO and Founding Partner Jim Coulter told Fortune Tuesday following a Reuters Breakingviews event. Namely, the firm looked into Juul at the start of 2018 but decided against making an infusion over concerns about the morality of such a call.

Photo courtesy of Keoni Cabral.

Source: Fortune (link opens in a new window)

impact investing, public health, startups