Imperial Tobacco’s premium cigar group has announced the formation of Tabacalera USA, which will oversee the company’s leading premium cigar business subsidiaries in the U.S. market.
Tabacalera USA will oversee the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA-based premium cigar division of Altadis U.S.A., which manufactures handmade cigar brands such as Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta and VegaFina. Tabacalera USA also will be responsible for the North Carolina, USA-based JR Cigar and its affiliates. JR Cigar is one of the largest premium cigar wholesale and retail businesses in the U.S. and features retail stores, upscale cigar lounges and an online business.
“Tabacalera USA, with these separate premium cigar companies as key pillars, will allow us to further expand our U.S. presence and capitalize on future changes and opportunities in this strategic market,” Fernando Dominguez, premium cigar director for Imperial Tobacco Group, said in a press note.
Both the Altadis U.S.A. premium cigar team and JR Cigar will continue to be run separately and will report to Javier Estades, who will head Tabacalera USA. Estades has led the company’s premium cigar group in the U.S. since 2011.
“We have chosen to use the name Tabacalera to recognize and honor our cigar history and better align us with Tabacalera SLU, Imperial’s Madrid, Spain-based global premium cigar business,” said Estades.
Imperial Tobacco has announced a new addition to its Carlton cigarette portfolio: Carlton Superkings Menthol. Carlton is the U.K.’s No. 1 sub-economy cigarette brand. Carlton Superkings Menthol will be available in standard and price-marked packs containing 19 pieces. According to Madeleine Pearce, Imperial’s brand portfolio chassis manager, the brand has been “designed to suit the preferences of the increasing number of downtrading smokers moving into the sub-economy sector.”
The standard and price-marked packs will be available at a recommended retail price of £6.40 ($ 9.74) and £6.19) per pack, respectively. Menthol currently accounts for approximately 8 percent of volume in the factory-made cigarette market. Pearce also noted that because Superkings are often the “preferred choice” of menthol smokers, the new addition to the portfolio “offers consumers a great value menthol cigarette, making it a must-stock for retailers.”
Imperial Tobacco Group (ITG) will buy Dragonite International’s e-cigarette business for $75 million, reports Bloomberg Businessweek. The acquisition depends on the approval of Dragonite shareholders.
Simon Evans, spokesman for Imperial, said the acquisition is not related to ITG’s August announcement that it was on track to introduce its own alternative nicotine products in 2014 through its Fontem Ventures subsidiary.
Dragonite founder and Executive Director Hon Lik is credited with inventing the technology behind the e-cigarette. Dragonite says it owns an “extensive portfolio” of global patents and pending patents on e-cigarette technologies.
CEO Alison Cooper and Financial Director Bob Dyrbus comment on Imperial Tobacco Group’s half-year 2013 results. The video was created by Merchantcantos, a provider of financial news about FTSE100 and FTSE250 companies.