|Key people||Jean-Dominique Comolli (Chairman)
Robert Dyrbus (CEO)
|Revenue||€ 4.112 billion (2005)|
Altadis is a multinational purveyor and manufacturer of cigarettes, tobacco and cigars. Altadis was formed via a 1999 merger between Tabacalera, the former Spanish tobacco monopoly and SEITA, the former French tobacco monopoly. Through its international holdings, including ownership of the former Consolidated Cigar Corporation, and half ownership of the Cuban state tobacco monopoly, Habanos S.A., Altadis is today the largest producer of mass market and premium cigars in the world, as well as the fourth largest producer of tobacco products. The company was acquired by the British tobacco giant Imperial Tobacco in 2008.
French and Spanish state monopolies
In 1926, France concentrated its tobacco industry into a single state-run monopoly called Service d'Exploitation industrielle des tabacs (SEIT). The production of matches (alumettes) was added to the state monopoly's purview in 1935 and the company was renamed SEITA.
Following the end of World War II, Spain similarly established a state-owned tobacco monopoly called Tabacalera, Sociedad Anonima, Compañia Gestora del Monopolio de Tabacos y Servicios Anejos, commonly known as Tabacalera.
Throughout the decades of the 1960s and 1970s, national markets were gradually opened up to the importation of foreign tobacco brands and the national tobacco monopolies of both France and Spain were weakened and gradually privatized, with SEITA employees losing status as civil servants in 1962 and the company losing both its monopoly of tobacco cultivation and tobacco sales by 1971.
In 2003, Altadis acquired the internet seller 800-JR Cigar, Inc., one of the largest cigar retailers in the United States.
On 18 July 2007, the board of Altadis backed a €16.2 billion offer for the company by Imperial Tobacco. The acquisition was cleared by the Spanish stock market regulator on 7 November 2007, paving the way for the creation of the world's fourth largest tobacco company. The acquisition was completed on 25 February 2008 with the delisting of Altadis from the Bolsa de Madrid.
Western Europe’s third largest cigarette manufacturer, Altadis produces and sells blond, regular and dark cigarettes. Its major markets include the United States, Spain and France.
In 2004, Altadis Group economic sales rose 3.9% to euro 3.518 million with a staff of 27 500 people.
- "Altadis S.A.," FundingUniverse.com/ Retrieved February 19, 2011.
- Ben Bland and Ben Harrington, "Imperial Secures Altadis with £11 Billion Bid," The Daily Telegraph, 18 July 2007.
- Age "Spain's Stock Market Commission Okays Imperial Bid for Altadis," Agence France Press, 7 November 2007.
- "Altadis to be Delisted Feb. 25," AFX News, 22 February 2008.