Philip Morris seeks new ID
November 15, 2001 Posted: 0049 GMT
NEW YORK (CNN/Money) -- Officials at Philip Morris Companies Inc. said Thursday they would ask shareholders to approve a change in the name of the parent company to Altria Group Inc.
Under the name change, the group's tobacco-operating companies would retain the Philip Morris name.
While the parent company would be called Altria Group, Philip Morris USA, Philip Morris International, Miller Brewing and Kraft Foods would retain their current names.
Philip Morris (MO: up $0.41 to $47.99, Research, Estimates) Chairman and CEO Geoffrey Bible told employees the name change was proposed to distinguish the parent company from its two tobacco companies, which all hold the Philip Morris name.
Bible said the change also would represent an "evolution of Philip Morris Companies Inc.," citing the recent Nabisco acquisition and the Kraft initial public offering.
Bible told employees that Altria is derived from the Latin word "altus," which means to "reach higher."
Company officials said shareholders would be asked for approval of the name at the annual meeting in April 2002.
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