Guillermo León has acquired La Aurora S.A. from E. León Jimenes, the family run company that has owned Aurora since 1903. León, who has spent 15 years running the company's cigar division, completed the purchase this week. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The Aurora cigar brand was created more than 100 years ago by Eduardo León Jimenes, León's grandfather, and is the oldest cigar company in the Dominican Republic. While cigars are its original business, the company has long done a much larger business in beer (it owns the Presidente brand, which commands more than 90 percent of the beer market in the Dominican Republic) and banking, and it used to make cigarettes.
The deal includes the company's brands (such as Aurora, Guillermo León and León Jimenes) and the company's cigar factory in the Dominican Republic. The building where Aurora Preferido cigars are rolled in Santiago, adjacent to the Museum of the City of Santiago, remains owned by E. León Jimenes. The small factory, popular with tourists, will continue to make Preferidos.
"I'm very happy. Very excited," said León during an interview with Cigar Aficionado. "Now we can make faster decisions. That's an advantage. The philosophy won't change, the philosophy of how we handle business."
Jose Blanco, head of marketing for Aurora, said that the company would "continue the tradition" that it has had for more than a century of "making good cigars."
To read about the Cigar Aficionado story about Aurora celebrating 100 years, click here.