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Stogie News: CAO Acquired by Henri Wintermans

29 Jan 2007

CAO International Inc., the Nashville-based stogie manufacturer famous for its Criollo, Brazilia, Italia, and Flavours lines, was acquired by Henri Wintermans Cigars last week.

The Dutch company is affiliated with ST Cigar Group Holdings Inc., which produces over 1.3 billion miniature machine-made stogies each year.

As of last night, neither the CAO website, CAO President Tim Ozgener’s blog, nor the Wintermans Cigars website made any mention of the transaction or the price.

But Mr. Ozgener did tell Cigar Aficionado that CAO is continuing with business as usual and that he will remain president at least until his five-year contract expires.

“Our goal is to be the No. 1 cigar brand in the world, known for quality, distribution, prestige,” he said. “It was in an effort for CAO to become more of a global brand. With this deal, we’ve saved about 20 years.”

According to the article, the deal also seems to make sense for Wintermans Cigars.

Wintermans has very little presence in the United States, and no long-filler cigar assets prior to the acquisition. Of the 1.3 billion cigars it sold in 2006, 1.1 billion were sold in Europe, and only 4 million in the United States. Acquiring CAO nearly quadruples its U.S. business in terms of units – CAO sold about 12 million cigars in 2006, more than 90 percent of them in the United States – and thrusts it into a solid position in the market for premium, handmade cigars.

For now, only time will tell what the acquisition means for CAO fans in America.

Patrick A


5 Responses to “Stogie News: CAO Acquired by Henri Wintermans”

  1. Patrick A Monday, January 29, 2007 at 4:23 am #

    Surprisingly, we've only published one full review of a CAO: the Criollo Pato. You can check that out here:

    You'll be seeing reviews of the Brazilia and Italia lines soon…

  2. Padronnie Monday, January 29, 2007 at 4:33 am #

    As long as CAO's cigars don't cange because of this.

  3. Sam Monday, January 29, 2007 at 12:49 pm #

    Simply secures the Ozenger family financially from ruin/mismanagement- why else sell? They lose absolute control over the way they want to run the business in exchange for $$$

  4. Vender minha empresa Tuesday, April 1, 2014 at 12:30 pm #

    I hope CAO's quality will remain.

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