Today Altadis manufactures or imports to the United States Montecristo, H. Upmann, Don Diego, Royal Jamaica, Montecruz, Primo del Rey, Te-Amo, Las Cabrillas and a variety of bundle cigars. The company’s cigar factory has been operating in La Romana, Dominican Republic since 1969. La Romana seems a strange choice for establishing a cigar factory, as the town sits at the southeast of the island while all the tobacco culture and cigar making is located north in the fertile Cibao valley. The reason is that the parent company of Consolidated Cigar Co. was Gulf Western, which owned vast extensions of land in La Romana.
The story of Altadis is a tale of mergers and acquisitions. In 1986, Consolidated Cigar Co. purchased American Cigar Co. acquiring not only the rights to Antonio y Cleopatra, then their biggest brand, but also all the rights to Henry Clay and the old Cuban trademarks that they owned: La Coronas, Cabanas, La Meridiana and Santa Damiana.
A few years later Consolidated bought Royal Jamaica. In 1989 they acquired Te Amo which they own but do not manufacture. Te Amo is still manufactured in Mexico by the same family that created it and they sell all their production to Altadis USA. A partnership also emerged between Consolidated Cigar Co., who retained controlling interest, and Pepe Garcia, the owner of H. Upmann, Montecristo and Por Larrañaga.
Fast forward to 1999. SEITA, the former French tobacco monopoly, purchased Consolidated Cigar to become the largest cigar company in the world. That same year it entered into a merger agreement with the former Spanish tobacco monopoly, Tabacalera, S.A. to form the fourth largest tobacco company in the world called ALTADIS S.A. (Alliance Tobacco Distribution). Altadis U.S.A. is the company’s U.S. division and the largest cigar company in the U.S. with a 38% share of the market and over 7,000 employees. The company also owns 50% of Habanos S.A., the owner of most of the Cuban trademarks that exist today.