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An Interview With Carlos Toraño

President, Central American Tobacco Corp.
David Savona
From the Print Edition:
Bill Murray, Nov/Dec 2004

(continued from page 4)

Q: So Central America Tobacco is a tobacco broker, and A.S.P. is a tobacco grower?

A: Yes. But the people that are working with Universal Leaf want to get involved with the A.S.P. operation in Mexico. We became partners, but that created a new problem for this little company that we had. Central America Tobacco was now involved also in cigar brokering. And we were selling to Consolidated, we were selling to General, we were selling to other people who were in the cigar business, and Universal never wanted to be involved in the cigar business whatsoever. It became very complicated. How do you explain to some of the people who are buying the leaf that we are also involved in competing against them in cigars? So in 1991 we have to separate the company. Nobody wants to buy, so I buy Central America, which already has a little history.

Q: So this is an amicable split?

A: Oh sure.ery friendly.

Q: So in 1991 Central America Tobacco, the cigar broker, becomes your company?

A: And beginning in 1992 the market begins to grow. The timing was perfect. [Laughs.] The timing was excellent.

Q: Now describe your business as a cigar broker in 1991.

A: At this point I didn't own any factories. I begin to work with three or four companies that I know well, so I know I can depend on them.

Q: At this time there's no Carlos Toraño cigar, right?

A: No.

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