The history of General Cigar began in 1848 when Ferdinand Cullman immigrated to the US from Germany. His grandson made one of the greatest contributions to the cigar world: the Connecticut Shade wrapper. In 1960, Cullman Brothers bought General Cigar Company and became the largest manufacturer and marketer of premium cigars with impressive brands.
In 1997, General Cigar acquired Villazon, the maker of such iconic brands as Punch, Hoyo de Monterrey, and Excalibur. Later, General Cigar assumed responsibility for marketing and selling El Credito, whose brands include La Gloria Cubana and El Rico Habano, which have enjoyed record growth under General Cigar's auspices.
In 1999, General Cigar sold its mass market business to Swedish Match in order to concentrate strictly on premium brands. In 2000, Swedish Match assumed majority control of General through a stock purchase from Edgar Cullman and family members. Other important brands have been acquired recently, including Helix, Don Tomas and Astral in 2004.
Their factory in Santiago, Dominican Republic is run by General Cigar Dominicana, a subsidiary of General Cigar Co., which began processing tobacco in 1975, and started producing cigars in 1978.