Juul Labs Inc. is in talks with two of its biggest investors on a bailout that could help the e-cigarette maker stave off a bankruptcy filing, according to people familiar with the matter.
Hyatt Hotels heir Nick Pritzker and California investor Riaz Valani are considering putting up money to cover the vaping company’s operations and near-term legal liabilities, the people said. Pritzker and Valani were early investors in Juul, have been longtime directors and are among the company’s largest shareholders.
The goal of the bailout would be to put Juul on firmer financial footing so it can stay in business and pursue a dispute with federal regulators over whether its products can remain on the U.S. market, one of the people said. Terms on the investment couldn’t be learned.
The deal hasn’t been finalized and Juul could decide not to pursue it. The company also has been preparing for a potential chapter 11 filing and recently added two restructuring experts to its board. Pritzker declined to comment and Valani didn’t respond to a request for comment.
An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.
Also popular on WSJ.com:
Banks are offering 4.5% CDs — just not to regular customers.
Builders say they’re ready for this housing slowdown. ‘I’ve learned my lesson.’