Scandinavian Tobacco Group (STG)—the owner of General Cigar Co., Cigars International and others—has announced that it has acquired the Room101 cigar brand from Matt Booth, who will join the company as the creative director for STG.
The acquisition is limited to Room101 Brand’s cigars and cigar accessories and does not include any of Booth’s other Room101 entities, per an announcement from the company.
“Our acquisition of Room101 Cigars is a strategic move for both STG and Matt Booth, and underpins our collective drive to shake up the category,” said Régis Broersma, president of STG’s North America and Rest of World divisions, in a press release. “Matt is a creative force and we’ve admired his ability to surprise and delight the market. On top of that, the Room101 cigar portfolio represents a blue ocean of blends and taste profiles we haven’t been playing in. So this acquisition gives us an even deeper opportunity to innovate and unlock the brand’s potential. We’re looking forward to tapping Matt’s boundless creativity, to doing some really cool cigar projects with him and to working alongside him to keep Room101 true to its roots.”
The company added that the Room101 cigars portfolio will complement STG’s handmade cigar portfolio that including both heritage and boutique brands such as Macanudo, CAO and the American versions of Cohiba, Partagas, La Gloria Cubana and others.
“In my 13 years in this industry, I’ve fought hard to foster Room101’s stance in market and now it is time as a brand to ascend to the next level,” Booth said via a press release. “This arrangement is nothing short of a watershed moment for myself and our brand family. Room101 Cigars has found its forever home with STG and I am extremely excited to be part of a company that is willing to invest in creative integrity and bold innovation. This partnership will empower Room101 Cigars to stretch outward and become the first true global craft brand in the category.”
Room101 Cigars will be distributed by Forged Cigar Company, which was launched in January 2021 and distributes La Gloria Cubana, Diesel and Partagas, along with several other brands.
Per a company announcement, the transaction was completed on June 10. Terms of the deal are not being disclosed. Additionally, details about Booth’s role within STG have not yet been clarified.
Booth launched Room101 in 2003 as a jewelry company specializing in custom silver pieces, many of which drew on the Asian culture that Booth experienced while deployed as a U.S. Marine. In 2009, he entered the cigar business under a partnership with Camacho, which at the time had just been sold to Davidoff but was still operating independently. As Camacho’s operations and brands became more integrated into Davidoff’s portfolio, the brand began to get an increasing amount of attention.
The relationship between Booth and Davidoff came to an end on Jan. 1, 2017, when the contract between Room101 and Oettinger Davidoff AG/Davidoff of Geneva USA, the company that produces and distributes its cigars, was not renewed. Booth announced that he was leaving the cigar business, only to return that summer as part of a collaboration project with Robert Caldwell of Caldwell Cigar Co. Since that time, Room101 has released new lines such as Farce and Doomsayer, a number of limited editions and collaborative projects, as well as bringing back lines such as The Big Payback and Namakubi.
In October 2021, Booth announced the launch of Room101 Canna, a new venture into the hemp-derived cannabinoid market, better known as products sold under names like CBD, Delta-8 and Delta-9. He has also launched ventures into bespoke leather goods and craft gin.