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Richard L. DiMeola

Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, Consolidated Cigar Corporation
From the Print Edition:
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Summer 96

(continued from page 6)

DiMeola: It was about where it is today. It does a little over 3 million. I think it got up to about three and a half million. It went down and it's coming back up.

CA: How low did it get?

DiMeola: I don't know. Maybe about 2 million. It would be bigger now if we could have shipped all that we had on order. I think we have 650,000 of those things on back order.

CA: At the time, since you were a principal in the company that bought it back, what was the rationale that Ron Perelman gave as to why he'd want to sell it, inasmuch as he loved cigars?

DiMeola: Mr. Perelman loved cigars, that's true. He's very interested in the business, but he's also, as you know, a genius of a financial man, and it was a financial move.

CA: Did he lose confidence in the future of cigars?

DiMeola: I don't know. I can only tell you that I think it was a financial move. I know he didn't lose confidence in the management. I think he believes that Theo Folz is one of the best managers he has in all his empire, and my personal belief is that's one of the reasons why he bought us back.

CA: Te-Amo?

DiMeola: We acquired Te-Amo in 1989 as well, after we did the LBO.

CA: How big was Te-Amo in 1989?

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