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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 13)

CA: Is that why SEITA is coming out with the mini-Cohiba?

Perez: Yes. In compensation for them losing the mini-Montecristo, Cuba signed a license for mini-Cohiba with the French.

CA: If the U.S. embargo against Cuba ends, will that alter your brand ownership agreement with Cuba?

Perez: This is the agreement at this moment. In the future, when the embargo is lifted, we can enter into a new deal.

[Editor's note: This interview took place on Sept. 23. The following week, the deal between Tabacalera and General Cigar collapsed after both sides failed in the final negotiations to agree on issues of control of the company. Tabacalera refused to change the original terms which would have given the Spanish company a 51 percent stake in General Cigar. At the time of the interview, the deal was still on.]

CA: Let's talk about your deal with General Cigar. Did you approach General Cigar, or did they approach you?

Perez: No, we approached them.

CA: What was it that caused you to be interested in this business venture?

Perez: As you know, we have a position in the European Union and a lot of potential in this market. We have a subsidiary, Companias Philippinas in the Far East. We were missing a third leg to cover or to be present or to be involved in the three big markets for cigars.

CA: Europe, the Far East and North America.

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