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Kimberly Clark Quits Smoking


In Business This Week

KIMBERLY-CLARK QUITS SMOKING

YIELDING TO SHAREHOLDER pressure and the threat of legal liability, Kimberly-Clark announced on May 9 that it would spin off its $404 million tobacco-related businesses. That represents a startling about-face for the maker of Kleenex and Huggies, which had very publicly resisted the move. But months of attacks from activist shareholder groups and customers, including a March letter-writing campaign dubbed "Kleen Out Tobacco From Kimberly-Clark," took their toll. The company will shed its cigarette paper and reconstituted tobacco business. Kimberly-Clark's stock rose 3.3% on the news.EDITED BY KEITH H. HAMMONDS


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