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Written by Kevin Godbee

Wednesday, 03 November 2010

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caocao closing its doors
general cigar
Cao Closing?Rumors surfaced yesterday that CAO International headquarters in TN will be closed and the employees laid-off.

 

At first, our sources said that “CAO is moving to Virginia”, but after further probing we found out that General Cigar will take over the distribution of the CAO Cigar line from their existing facility in Virginia.

 

This is a result of the Swedish Match and Scandinavian Tobacco merger that was completed last month. General Cigar is owned by Swedish Match, which is now owned by Scandinavian Tobacco, which bought CAO a few years ago, in January 2007. This seems like a typical corporate merger consolidation.

What does this mean for fans of CAO cigars?

We can only speculate as CAO and General Cigar have not returned phone calls placed over 24 hours ago. No official announcements have been made, and a survey of retailers shows that the trade has not been informed of this situation either.

So, what do we think may happen?

General Cigar tends to focus more on the mass-market, and is more “corporate”, where CAO, while not small, leans more towards producing “boutique-style” cigars.

This leaves us wondering. With CAO Cigar distribution changing to General Cigar, will the CAO line change? Will some of your favorite CAO cigars be discontinued?

Larger corporations like General Cigar usually require a certain level of sales to maintain certain products. Something that might be even worse than seeing your favorite CAO cigars discontinued is if General decides to change the "recipes". What if the bean counters run their spreadsheets and find some lower-priced tobacco that can be used to add more profits to the bottom line?

I don’t know about you, but I’d stock up on my favorite CAO cigars right now.

Cigar smokers aren’t the only ones left wondering either. Pipe smokers have their own questions as there wasn’t even word if General Cigar will be distributing the CAO line of pipe tobaccos, and the even more in-demand and scarce Dunhill pipe tobaccos.

You can read more about it on PipesMagazine.com here:

http://pipesmagazine.com/blog/pipe-news/cao-and-dunhill-pipe-tobacco-distribution-in-question/




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