July 3, 2013 (Kansas City, Mo.) – After a thorough review of strategic alternatives, XIKAR, Inc. has entered into a sale agreement with Cigars International for the HC Series and Defiance Cigar Brands. “We have elected to return our full focus and energy to our leading cigar accessory business,” said Kurt Van Keppel, CEO and Founder of XIKAR.  “We have significant opportunities that require our complete organization and strategic resources be dedicated to growing our accessory business,” continued Mr. Van Keppel.

Effective July 1, 2013 XIKAR will sell its cigar brands to Cigars International. Cigars International will continue to sell the cigars to brick and mortar retailers through their Meier and Dutch distribution arm. “We encourage our existing customers who have supported our highly rated cigars to continue to source them for our loyal consumers from Meier and Dutch,” said Mr. Van Keppel.  “CI has agreed to price protect all existing retailers by not discounting below our existing MAP policy through September 30, 2013,” stated Mr. Van Keppel.

“We have been in the cigar business for eight years, and have concluded that focus on accessories better aligns our resources to our goals.  We appreciate the support we have received from retailers and consumers, and commit to rewarding that loyalty through continued innovation and enhanced sales, marketing and customer service behind our leading accessory portfolio. We desire to hold market leadership, and believe a singular focus will enhance the XIKAR brand for the long term,” concluded Mr. Van Keppel.

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Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and previously the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for Major League Baseball, plus I'm a voice over artist. Prior to joining halfwheel, I covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.