TIM OZGENER DEPARTS PREMIUM CIGAR BUSINESS

Richmond, VA—General Cigar announces that CAO President Tim Ozgener has decided to pursue personal business interests in his hometown of Nashville, TN, thus moving on from his 16-year career in the premium cigar business.

Ozgener, son of company founder Cano A Ozgener, joined the original family business in 1994 and has since been instrumental in building one of the most renowned and respected brands in the premium cigar category.

Dan Carr, president of General Cigar said, “We remain committed to CAO and are grateful to Tim for his contributions, not only to the brand but also for sharing his knowledge with the people who will continue his legacy. While we will miss Tim’s insight and passion, we respect his choice and wish him well.”

Gary Hyams, chairman of CAO International commented, “It has been a privilege to work with Tim over the last three and a half years and to have had the opportunity to share in his passion for CAO. I wish him and his family all the very best for the future.”

Ozgener commented, “It is with a heavy heart that I leave CAO.  I look back at my 16-year career with the company with great pride and I will miss the friendships that I have made over the years in the premium cigar industry.  I am confident that the team at General Cigar will carry the CAO brand to new heights and I wish them the utmost continued success.”

Tim Ozgener was named president of CAO in 2006. He is largely credited with bringing innovative packaging, new flavor profiles and unique marketing concepts to the brand which has continued to thrive since the company’s inception during the cigar boom.

About Scandinavian Tobacco Group

Scandinavian Tobacco Group which purchased CAO in 2007 has recently completed a global merger with Swedish Match AB, combining all the tobacco business of Scandinavian Tobacco Group A/S with the cigars and pipe tobacco business of Swedish Match AB (with the exception of its US mass market cigars). This new company, which has retained the name Scandinavian Tobacco Group, is now the second largest cigar company in the world, holding more than 30% of the U.S. premium cigar market and producing more than 2.5 billion cigars and 1,650 tons of pipe tobacco annually at the Group’s factories in Europe, Asia, the Caribbean and Central America. For more information, visit www.st-group.com.

About General Cigar

General Cigar Co. Inc., a division of Scandinavian Tobacco Group, manufactures and markets handcrafted cigars for the premium market. Committed to delivering cigars of the finest quality, General Cigar’s skilled artisans produce Macanudo®, Cohiba®,  La Gloria Cubana®, Punch®, CAO®, Partagas®, Hoyo de Monterrey®, Excalibur® and several other leading premium brands in the company’s Dominican, Honduran and Nicaraguan factories. In addition, the company cultivates proprietary tobacco which is used exclusively in its blends. General Cigar also operates Club Macanudo®, a cigar bar in New York City. Based in Richmond, VA, General Cigar sells through tobacconists nationwide and also exports select products to 62 countries. For more information, please visit www.cigarworld.com.

®  Macanudo, Cohiba, La Gloria Cubana, Punch, CAO, Partagas, Hoyo de Monterrey, Excalibur and Club Macanudo are registered trademarks of General Cigar Co. Inc.

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Is the CAO closed down the Nashville, Tennessee office?

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