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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 12)

CA: How much did it cost you?

Perez: I don't wish to say.

CA: I heard it was something like $10 million?

Perez: (He smiles.)

CA: It would seem to me that this was a bargain--today. Maybe not five years ago, but today. I mean, don't you think it is probably worth two or three times that, considering what's happened in the marketplace?

Perez: It depends. I think the price was appropriate, because the value of a trademark only exists if you have a brand behind that.

CA: So let me ask you this. When Montecristo is sold in Switzerland, or it's sold in the U.K. or Canada, do you get a royalty?

Perez: No. Our agreement with Cuba is the following: They can use the trademark as if they were the owner. I mean, they can use the trademark for the handmade Cuban production without paying any royalty. In return, they provide us with the best tobacco leaf for our own productions.

CA: What about the mini-Montecristo?

Perez: Before this problem with trademarks, SEITA [France's tobacco monopoly] received a license from the Cubans to produce the mini-Montecristo. That is finished. We are now producing the mini-Montecristo.

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