FTI Consulting is advising Vectura, the UK maker of inhaled medicines and devices to treat respiratory illnesses, as it is a takeover target of Philip Morris International and Carlyle Group.

Vectura supplies nebulizer medicines & devices to Sandoz, Novartis, GSK and Bayer.

It had agreed to a deal with Carlyle, but the maker of Marlboro cigarettes upped its offer on Aug. 8 by $1.4B to top the private equity firm’s offer.

The London Stock Exchange’s takeover panel intervened on Aug. 9 by establishing an auction process for Vectura to “provide an orderly framework for the resolution of this competitive situation.”

PMI and Caryle have until Aug. 17 to make their final bids.

Vectura had expressed support for Carlyle because it feared the optics of being owned by a cigarette company.

It noted the “uncertainties relating to the impact on Vectura’s wider stakeholders arising as a result of the possibility of the company being owned by PMI.”

The British Thoracic Society worries about PMI ownership of Vectura. “BTS aligns with lung and cancer charities and medical societies in the UK as well as with our counterpart in the United States, the American Thoracic Society, in highlighting the inappropriateness of this deal and calling for this takeover to be prevented, given the unresolvable ethical conflict that would be generated by such an arrangement,” it said on Aug. 5.

PMI claims the acquisition fits its long-term strategy of building “on its leading scientific capabilities to develop products and services that go ‘Beyond Nicotine.’”

The company wants to achieve at least $1 billion in annual net revenues from Beyond Nicotine sources in 2025.

FTI’s Ben Atwell and Simon Conway handle Vectura.