There’s a new man in charge of the world’s largest cigar and pipe company, as Scandinavian Tobacco Group (STG) has announced that Niels Frederiksen will succeed Anders Colding Friis effective March 1.
Friis announced late last year that he would be departing the company, which is the parent of both General Cigar Co. and the large retailer Cigars International. The announcement came shortly after news broke that STG, which is a partnership between Swedish Match and Skandinavisk Holding A/S, was headed towards a public offering.
Frederiksen joined Skandinavisk Holding A/S in 1999, a press release indicated that he “has headed commercial activities, supply chain and all staff functions.” His LinkedIn profile currently lists him as the executive vice-president for STG, a role he has held since April 2013.
Earlier today, Swedish Match reiterated that STG is continuing to look into a initial public offering.
STG was formed in October 2010, merging Swedish Match’s cigar and pipe business, which included both General Cigar Co. and Cigars International, with Skandinavisk Holding A/S, which owned CAO and a variety of other brands in the mass market, roll-your-own and pie categories. Skandinavisk Holding A/S assumed 51 percent of the new venture, while Swedish Match received 49 percent and $30 million in cash.
The deal included a standstill agreement, which essentially prevented either party from acquiring or divesting of their respective ownership stakes until it expired on Oct. 1, 2014. Multiple sources told halfwheel that Swedish Match in particular was keen to sell its stake.
Friis’ departure delayed plans for an IPO, something that potentially could have taken place as early as Q1 2015. By December, Bloomberg reported that STG could be sold to a private equity firm with three firms specifically mentioned. Initial bids were due in December; it’s unclear if that option is still being pursued by either shareholder.
When it was formed, STG indicated it had over 9,000 employees. In 2013, it reported revenue of $1.06 billion and claimed to manufacture 60 million hand-rolled cigars.