Vandermarliere Cigar Family (VCF)—the parent company of J. Cortès and Oliva Cigar Co.—has announced two different transactions with German cigar companies that will set the stage for VCF to become one of the leading cigar distributors in Germany, one of the largest markets for non-Cuban cigars outside of the U.S.

Effective July 1, VCF acquired Woermann Cigars GmbH and Wörmann Cigars. It has also announced an agreement for a separate deal that will see VCF take over Wolfertz GmbH at the beginning of 2023. VCF says that it will provide further details about what will be a new company based out of Rödinghausen, a city in northwest Germany. That company will not only distribute cigars, but also rum and accessories.

Woermann is based in Rödinghausen and that location will serve as the home of the new operations. Wörmann sells its own brands such as Woermann and Seefahrer and is also the distributor for other brands including La Galera.

Peter Wörmann will remain at the company and will oversee its operations with support from Wiljo van Maren, who was once the managing director of Arnold André, another German cigar company.

VCF says it has reached an agreement to takeover Wolfertz GmbH, one of the most prominent German cigar distributors, at the beginning of next year. In addition to distributing VCF’s Oliva brands, Wolfertz GmbH also distributes AJ Fernandez, Alec Bradley, Condega, My Father, Plasencia and XIKAR in Germany.

Thorsten Wolfertz, the company’s founder, will join the new VCF German company and “will remain responsible for all commercial activities” according to a press release.

“With an own sales organization and distribution set-up, we will be able to give optimal service to the tobacco channel and realize our growth ambitions,” said Fred Vandermarliere, ceo of VCF, in a press release. “I am very proud that Peter Wörmann and Thorsten Wolfertz have expressed so much confidence in us. All being family owned businesses, sharing similar values, we realized that only by combining forces we will be able to remain successful and deal with regulatory challenges such as track and trace. I am also very grateful for the cooperation we received from Kohlhase & Kopp in this respect, as they have been a very loyal partner for us during many years.”

Finally, with the opening of a new German distribution company, some of VCF’s other brands, which are currently distributed by Kohlhase & Kopp in Germany, will also be moving to the new to-be-named company. Those brands include De Olifant, J. Cortès and Sonderangebot. VCF says that Kohlhase & Kopp will continue to distribute those brands until the end of 2022.

“It is tough to make such a decision when you get along so well, but for both sides it was clear that this was the only way forward,” said Vandermarliere. “I want to thank the families for their understanding and the very gentle way they accepted that our roads would head to another direction. We will continue to respect each other and the relationship was always based on trust and reliability.”

Update (Dec. 6, 2022) — The original version of this story referred to Woermann as Wörmann. While Wörmann is the family name, the company goes by Woermann.

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Charlie Minato

I am an editor and co-founder of Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I have written about the cigar industry for more than a decade, covering everything from product launches to regulation to M&A. In addition, I handle a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff here at halfwheel. I enjoy playing tennis, watching boxing, falling asleep to the Le Mans 24, wearing sweatshirts year-round and eating gyros. echte liebe.