Altadis USA Announces Integration of Commonwealth Brands into Fort Lauderdale Headquarters Adding New Jobs and Capital Investment
Published Monday, June 27, 2011 7:00 am

(Fort Lauderdale, FL) - Altadis USA, one of the largest cigar companies in the US, announced that it will expand its 22 year headquarters presence in Fort Lauderdale through integrating administrative functions of a related company, Commonwealth Brands, currently located in Bowling Green, KY.  Altadis USA and Commonwealth Brands are both subsidiaries of UK‐based Imperial Tobacco Group.  Imperial had also considered a consolidation of administrative office functions in Goodlettsville, TN, near Nashville.

Officials from Altadis USA worked closely with the office of Florida Governor Rick Scott, Enterprise Florida, the City of Fort Lauderdale and the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance CEO Council to craft state and local incentives that will result in the addition of 55 high paying jobs with an average salary in excess of 150% of the local Broward County average wage, or $62,448, along with retaining the current 84 Altadis USA employees.  The company will expand its existing office space at 5900 North Andrews Avenue and invest over $700,000 in additional capital expenditures for construction & renovation leasehold improvements and purchase of computer equipment, office furniture, fixtures and other equipment.  The state and local incentives from Florida and the City of Fort Lauderdale total $625,000, and consist of $330,000 from the Qualified Target Industries Tax Refund Program along with $236,000 from the Governor’s Quick Action Closing Fund and $59,000 in a Direct Cash Incentive from the City of Fort Lauderdale.

Gary Ellis, President and CEO of Altadis USA, said “the decision to choose Fort Lauderdale as the ultimate location for the co‐location of headquarter administrative functions was arrived at only after significant internal discussions were held, and the fact that Altadis USA has a long standing track record of success of operating in Fort Lauderdale was a factor in the final analysis.  The leadership and support of Florida Governor Rick Scott, Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler, Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance CEO Council Chairman Ray Ferrero, Jr., and many others were critical to Fort Lauderdale’s selection, and I am personally grateful for their efforts on our behalf.”

“Altadis’ expansion in Florida is a vote of confidence in our state’s ability to assist leading corporations in fulfilling long‐term business goals,” said Governor Scott. “I appreciate Altadis’ recognizing my efforts to make Florida the number one state for job creation and the best place to live, work and play.”

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler said, “Altadis USA and its management and employees have long been an important part of the Fort Lauderdale community fabric and are well known for their generous support of many local and international charitable causes through their corporate and personal contributions, such as Junior Achievement and their own Montecristo Relief Organization for the Haiti earthquake victims.  But most importantly, the City of Fort Lauderdale values and appreciates their decision to remain and expand their corporate headquarters in Fort Lauderdale and continue to add to the local economic vitality as we recover from the recent recession.  The City of Fort Lauderdale is pleased to play a leadership role in providing the necessary incentives to ensure their continued presence in our community.”

According to Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance CEO Council Chairman Ray Ferrero, Jr, “We are delighted to have had the opportunity to work with our partners at the City of Fort Lauderdale, Enterprise Florida and the Governor’s Office on behalf of Altadis USA.  The CEO Council’s mission is to maintain and grow the presence of the more than 150 corporate and international headquarter operations in the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County area that can take advantage of our world class quality of life, transportation access and highly rated business and personal tax climate, and the decision of Altadis USA provides further positive confirmation and ratification of our initiative.”

Altadis USA is a manufacturer and distributor of cigars including such famous brands as Backwoods, Phillies, Dutch Masters, Montecristo and Romeo y Julieta.  Commonwealth Brands manufactures and distributes cigarettes and other tobacco products including such brands as USA Gold, Sonoma and Davidoff Cigarettes.

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