Scandinavian Tobacco Group (STG) has announced that it has finalized its $62 million purchase of Thompson and Co., a Tampa-based cigar retailer.
While the deal was announced in January, STG is a public company and as such is required to announce the formal closing.
Thompson is one of the industry’s oldest and largest retailers. Founded in 1915, Thompson was a pioneer in the cigar industry, becoming the first postal permit holder in the city of Tampa. Today, the business includes a mail-order catalog, an online website and a retail storefront.
Its annual revenue is $100 million, making it one of the five largest cigar retailers. Thompson was also one of the last major retailers not owned by a cigar company. The Franzblau family purchased Thompson in 1960.
Under STG ownership, it will join a company that already owns the largest cigar retailer: Cigars International.
Executives from STG told halfwheel that Thompson will continue to operate out of Tampa for one year before the company makes any changes. It is widely expected that STG will consolidate the operations, likely to Pennsylvania, where Cigars International is headquartered.
Last year, Cigars International underwent a massive overhaul of its enterprise resource planning (ERP) and warehouse management system. Unfortunately, the implementation did not go smoothly and the retailer was unable to process thousands of orders, leading to STG to miss its performance outlook for 2017.
However, that same overhaul will pay dividends in the Thompson acquisition.
In addition, to Thompson, Cigars International also will open up its first brick-and-mortar stores outside of Pennsylvania. The company is building two stores in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, with the first opening in summer of this year.
STG also owns General Cigar Co., which sells Cohiba, Macanudo, CAO, Partagas, Hoyo de Monterrey, Punch and other brands in the U.S.
The move means STG will generate an estimated $350 million in retail sales, over 20 percent of the total U.S. cigar industry.