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Pedro Perez—Former President, Tabacalera

A talk with the man behind Tabacalera, Spain's $7 billion tobacco company.
Marvin R. Shanken
From the Print Edition:
Tom Selleck, Winter 95/96

(continued from page 11)

CA: I like the way you said they were intervened. Confiscated?

Perez: Technically that's right. Cubatabaco was producing and selling the trademarks of 16 brands. At the time, the value, the appreciation of the trademarks, was not like now, or 10 years ago. The former brand owners were aware of the value of the trademark, and they started some litigation. I think that was in the early '80s.

CA: Which brands were involved in the litigations?

Perez: Montecristo, Partagas, H. Upmann, Por Larrañaga, and La Gloria Cubana among others. We could see two potential problems with this. One was for the Cubans. They were using the trademarks without paying any royalties. Two, the distributors of the brands could also have a problem with having to pay royalties. This was why Tabacalera started negotiations with the owners to buy the trademarks. These negotiations developed in 1987 and ended in 1990.

CA: These were the owners of the trademark outside of the U.S. and outside of Cuba?

Perez: Correct.

CA: That's the companies of Cifuentes International and Consolidated; they have a company together called Cuban Cigar Corp.(CCC). So Tabacalera now owns the trademark for Montecristo and these other brands all over the world with the exception of Cuba, the Dominican Republic and the U.S.?

Perez: Yes.

CA: This deal came through in 1991?

Perez: Yes.

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