Fernandez, Garcia Settle Lawsuit

The lawsuit filed more than a year ago by Eduardo Fernandez, owner of the agricultural conglomerate Aganorsa S.A., against cigarmaker José “Pepin” Garcia and his family has been settled out of court.

Fernandez, who owned 50 percent of the Miami-based El Rey de Los Habanos factory as well as half of Tabacalera Cubana S.A. (TACUBA) in Nicaragua, has agreed to sell his interest in those companies to the Garcias, who are now sole owners of the enterprise.

Terms of the purchase were not disclosed.

Cigar Aficionado spoke to attorneys representing both the plaintiff and defendants in the case. The dispute originally centered around the Garcia’s ventures in Nicaragua, specifically the My Father Cigars S.A. factory where My Father, Tatuaje Havana VI, San Cristobal, La Aroma de Cuba and other cigars are now made. Fernandez, who had been a partner with the Garcias in Tabacalera Cubana, the Garcia’s first cigar factory in Nicaragua, was not an owner in My Father Cigars.

Fernandez sought to stop production at the My Father factory, believing the Garcias to have intentionally channeled business around El Rey de Los Habanos and Tabacalera Cubana in an effort to circumvent the partnership.

Both parties agreed to settle on September 29, and the charges, which included breach of fiduciary duty, tortious interference and civil conspiracy, were dismissed on September 30.

The case is officially closed.

"I was as I am aware that Tatuaje and Illusione are completely different companies with different brand owners, blends and factories. All in jest regarding the two boutique cigar owners. " —October 4, 2011 12:10 PM
"And thank you for the comments about our reporting. We are very careful about the stories that we report, and take everything we publish on this web site, in Cigar Insider and in Cigar Aficionado magazine very seriously. " —October 3, 2011 19:26 PM
"Christian, I trust you were being funny with your original comments about Tatuaje and Illusione. The Tatuaje brand is owned by Pete Johnson, and is made by the Garcia family in Miami (original Tatuaje) and Nicaragua (Tatuaje Havana VI). The Illusione brand is owned by Dion Giolito and is made in Honduras at Fabrica de Tabacos Raices Cubanas S de RL. Illusione has absolutely nothing to do with this suit or settlement. " —October 3, 2011 19:23 PM
"Nothing against Charlie but I would say CA's reputation and fact checking are hand's down some of the most reliable in the business. You always hear both sides and they personally contact all parties involved more than just taking from media statements. " —October 3, 2011 18:35 PM
"Actually Charlie broke the story. And reported this outcome last week. " —October 3, 2011 18:01 PM
"Great to hear the report on how it was settled as I was anxious to hear the outcome when you first broke the story. I heard Pepin has to trade Tatuaje for Ilusione. Hopefully Pete won't act out after being the product of a divorce. Kids these days. Dion is the chosen one." —October 3, 2011 17:57 PM