What started as a rumour on the cigar forum BOTL, before being discussed on The Cigar Authority and becoming a controversial post over at The Cigar Nut, has finally been validated. Swisher International has purchased Drew Estate Cigars.
The company will continue to operate with its existing management team, but will now have to answer to tobacco giant, Swisher International.
As part of the deal, Swisher acquires all of the Drew Estate brands as well as the largest cigar factory in Nicaragua, Gran Fabrica.
According to a statement by Peter Ghiloni of Swisher International, “The products produced by Drew Estate and its distribution partners Joya de Nicaragua, Royal Agio Cigars and Tsuge pipes are top-quality market leaders in their respective segments. The creativity, passion and innovation of Drew Estate employees and management are a perfect match for Swisher.”
“We are eternally grateful to all of those who have helped build Drew Estate and look forward to advancing the Drew Estate legacy with a great partner,” said Jonathan Drew who only weeks ago went on the offensive against those who first reported the potential sale.
Drew Estate president Michael Cellucci stated, “After the transaction closes, we will continue to run our business as we have in the past and will be able to leverage the resources of Swisher to continue our growth with a renewed focus on our commitment to quality products and people—two of the core principles of the Drew Estate belief system.”
While the statements are expected we have learned from past acquisitions that it is rarely the case especially when talking about a company the size of Swisher International. It is hard to do things, that affect the bottom line as compared to the freedoms a smaller company is allowed.
The Official Press Release:
Swisher International Announces Purchase Agreement to Acquire Drew Estate
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Oct. 20, 2014) — Swisher International Inc. and Drew Estate Tobacco Company disclosed today that they have entered into a definitive purchase agreement whereby Swisher International will acquire Drew Estate in its entirety. Drew Estate will continue to operate under its current management team as a subsidiary of Swisher.
“We began under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass in Brooklyn, N.Y. with a laser focus on ‘The Rebirth of Cigars.’ Friends, retailers, and consumers connected with our passion and authenticity, supporting us at each stage of our growth. We are eternally grateful to all of those who have helped build Drew Estate, and look forward to advancing the Drew Estate legacy with a great partner,” stated Jonathan Drew, Co-founder of Drew Estate, from Hopkinsville, Kentucky.
Drew Estate Co-founder Marvin Samel added, “This is a dream come true. From the moment we met the team at Swisher and began speaking of a possible acquisition, it was clear that, as a family business, they understood the culture we have created and completely supported our desire to keep our family at Drew Estate intact. The team we have built in Miami and Nicaragua represents the heart and soul of ‘The Rebirth of Cigars’ and will continue to drive that vision into the future. In fact, we’re just getting started.”
Michael Cellucci, President of Drew Estate, said, “We are excited to join the distinguished team at Swisher. After spending the past few months interacting with the Swisher team, we have come to understand their commitment to the cigar and OTP categories, as well as the premium cigar segment. After the transaction closes, we will continue to run our business as we have in the past, and will be able to leverage the resources of Swisher to continue our growth with a renewed focus on our commitment to quality products and people – two of the core principles of the Drew Estate belief system.”
“As a global leader in the cigar and OTP categories, Swisher prides itself on developing, manufacturing, and distributing the most innovative and high quality tobacco products available. I see those same principles in Drew Estate,” said Peter Ghiloni, President and CEO of Swisher International. “The products produced by Drew Estate and its distribution partners Joya De Nicaragua, Royal Agio Cigars, and Tsuge pipes are top-quality market leaders in their respective segments. The creativity, passion and innovation of Drew Estate employees and management are a perfect match for Swisher, and we look forward to welcoming them to our family.”
The transaction is expected to close during the 4th quarter of 2014. Terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.
About Drew Estate Inc.
Founded in New York City in 1996, Drew Estate has become one of the fastest growing tobacco companies in the world. Under its mantra “The Rebirth of Cigars”™, Drew Estate has led the “boutique cigar” movement by innovating new elements to the tobacco industry with unique tobaccos and blending styles that have attracted new and old cigar enthusiasts. In its Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, the Nicaraguan headquarters, Drew Estate produces a variety of brands such as ACID, Herrera Estelí, Kentucky Fired Cured, Liga Privada, MUWAT, Natural, Nica Rustica, Nirvana Cameroon Selection, Tabak Especial, UnderCrown, and Java by Drew Estate. Website: https://www.drewestate.com
About Swisher International
Swisher International, Inc. is a leading tobacco manufacturer whose cigars, filtered cigars and smokeless tobacco brands include the largest-selling cigar brand in the world—Swisher Sweets, as well as King Edward, Optimo, BlackStone, Pom-Pom, and Santa Fe cigars; Mail Pouch, Chattanooga Chew, Starr, Bowie and Lancaster chewing tobaccos, Silver Creek, Kayak and Redwood moist snuff, and Navy and Railroad Mills dry snuff; as well as Kismet, Casino Gold HRS, and Nirvana Cameroon Selection Premium Cigars thru its Royal Gold Premium Cigars division. Swisher products are exported to over 80 countries. Swisher International, Inc. is headquartered in Jacksonville, FL and also has manufacturing facilities in Wheeling, WV and Santiago, Dom. Rep. Website: https://www.swisher.com