Imperial Sells Premium Cigar Business for $1.3 billion


Posted on APRIL 27, 2020



Imperial Brands, plc has announced that it has a deal in place to sell its premium cigar assets for €1.225 billion ($1.33 billion) in two stages.

Little is known about the buyers—Gemstone Investment Holding Ltd and Allied Cigar Corporation S.L., two companies that appear to be holding companies created for this deal—but it is expected that the current management teams will remain in their positions. Imperial hasn’t explained why the deal needs to happen in two separate transactions, but the buyer is believed to be one group.

Gemstone Investment Holding Ltd will buy the company’s U.S.-based businesses for €185 million ($200 million), a deal that will include Tabacalera USA which is made up of:

  • Altadis U.S.A. — The company behind Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta and others in the U.S.
  • Casa de Montecristo — A chain of high-end retail stores, some owned by Imperial and others owned by franchise operators.
  • JR Cigar — The second-largest cigar retailer in the world.

Allied Cigar Corporation S.L. will pay €1.04 billion ($1.128 billion) for the rest of the premium cigar assets, including:

  • Flor de Copan — A cigar factory in Honduras.
  • 50 percent stake in Habanos S.A. — A joint-venture with the Cuban tobacco monopoly in the company that controls the sales and marketing of Cuban cigars worldwide.
  • 50 percent stake in Internacional Cubana de Tabaco S.A. — A joint-venture which makes Cuban machine-made cigars
  • 50 percent stake in Promotora de Cigarros S.L. — A joint-venture which distributes Cuban machine-made cigars around the world.
  • Tabacalera de García — The world’s largest cigar factory.
  • VegaFina
  • Stakes in local Habanos distributors around the world through a 50 percent share of Altabana S.L.

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