Two of Europe’s largest premium cigar retailers have merged to form Dominique London.
Specifically, those retailers are C.Gars Ltd in the U.K. and La Casa Del Tabaco Group of Belgium. The new combined company will operate 17 stores between them—nine in the U.K. and eight in Belgium—employing 105 people in the U.K. and 25 in Belgium. It claims a combined revenue of €27 million ($32 million) annually.
Beyond the physical stores, both companies have their own online storefronts; C.Gars Ltd operates quarterly vintage cigar auctions; in addition, there are also private label brands and distribution agreements that the previous companies operated.
The deal will see Dominique Gyselinck and Frédéric Dechamps of La Casa Del Tabaco as the largest shareholders, Mitchell Orchant of C.Gars Ltd. will be the next largest shareholder. Combined, the trio will hold 65 percent of Dominque London. The company said that the deal was financed by private placement with “domestic and foreign investors.”
While the companies have merged, both businesses are expected to continue operating under their current names according to Orchant.
“We started negotiations with Mitchell Orchant, the founder and owner of C. Gars, at the end of 2019, before the health crisis and while Brexit was taking shape,” said Frédéric Dechamps, CEO of La Casa Del Tabaco Group, in a press release. “Our two chains were comparable, but also complementary. We understood that we shared the same vision of the European cigar market: a very fragmented market, ripe for consolidation.” The two groups were, moreover, the main retailers of luxury cigars in their respective countries, which also brought them closer together.”
Dominique London’s executive team is as follows:
- Christian de Marnix — chairman
- Frédéric Dechamps — chief executive officer
- Dominique Gyselinck — chief operating officer
- Mitchell Orchant — chief commercial officer
- Ron Morrison — director spirits division
- Laura Bitters — direct of marketing
- Martin Hughes — chief financial offier
- Cindy Ponnet — Belgium general manager
- Michelle Adler — U.K. general manger
- Paul Hindmarch — brands director
“As one of the oldest retail cigar specialists in the UK established in 1817, Turmeaus Tobacconist, and our mail order division, C.Gars Ltd, are very excited about our merger with La Casa Del Tabaco of Belgium,” said Orchant in a press release. “Our team has worked tirelessly to create the best websites, retail shops and vintage cigar auctions in the UK. The creation of Dominique London will provide the platform for further expansion both in the UK and internationally. I am delighted to serve on the board of directors with our highly experienced partners in Belgium.”
According to Orchant, the company’s London headquarters has recently doubled in size as part of the merger. In addition, a holding company has been established in Waregem, Belgium.
Gyselinck said that the company will expand into other countries in the future and Dechamps indicated that he wants to see revenues grow to €50 million within the next five years.
As part of the deal, the group has also acquired Snowdonia Distillery in Wales.