Altria completes Kraft Foods spin-off..

March 30, 2007 - Altria completes Kraft Foods spin-off.. The Board of Directors of Altria Group, Inc. voted on January 31, 2007, to authorize the spin off of all shares of Kraft Foods Inc. owned by Altria to Altria's shareholders. The distribution of the approximately 88.9% of Kraft's outstanding shares owned by Altria was made on March 30, 2007, to Altria shareholders of record as of 5:00 p.m Eastern Time on March 16, 2007. Altria's plan to unload Kraft is part of a long-term restructuring plan that may ultimately split the domestic and international tobacco businesses into two companies. The idea behind such a move is that Philip Morris USA and Philip Morris International would no longer be constrained by the other. That would allow Philip Morris USA to expand outside of the nation's borders into more lucrative markets. And Philip Morris International would no longer be dragged down by the messy problems associated with smoking in the United States, from diminished demand to government intervention. ( "Sale of Kraft Foods will allow Altria to focus on tobacco"by Andrew Martin, International Herald Tribune, 3/30/3007) "For years, Philip Morris/Altria has disguised Big Tobacco's political contributions and lobbying behind Kraft Foods. This breakup will really decrease its political cover," explains Executive Director Kathryn Mulvey - Corporate Accountability International (CAI). For example, in 1995 the corporation mobilized its Oscar Mayer employees to lobby the federal government against tobacco regulations. ( "IMPENDING KRAFT SPLIT FROM PHILIP MORRIS/ALTRIA SEEN AS VICTORY FOR PUBLIC HEALTH"After Twenty Years Trying to Fool Consumers Tobacco Giant Prepares for Dramatic Shift, Bryan Hirsch (617) 784-4753 and Patti Lynn (617) 695-2525, CAI, 4/25/2006)