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Villiger Sons

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Villiger Sons Ltd.
Native name
Villiger Söhne AG
Company typePrivate company
Founded1888; 136 years ago (1888) in Pfeffikon, Switzerland
FounderJean Villiger
HeadquartersPfeffikon, Switzerland
Area served
Key people
Heinrich Villiger
Dr. Corina Villiger Christ
(board member)
Lucien Villiger
(board member)
OwnerVilliger family
Number of employees
SubsidiariesVilliger North America, Inc.; P.T. Villiger Indonesia, Villiger Söhne GmbH
WebsiteOfficial website

Villiger Sons (officially Villiger Sons Ltd.[1]) is a Swiss multinational concern which manufactures and sells cigars and cigarillos and other tobacco products. Founded in 1888, the company is family owned and managed in the third, respectively fourth generation,[2] and employs over 1,500 people worldwide. Villiger produces over 16 brands and has a revenue of approximately $220 million (2017).[3] Besides owning several factories as subsidiaries in countries such as the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Indonesia.Villiger is also present on the U.S. market and has opened a new subsidiary of Villiger North America, Inc. in Doral, Florida in 2016.[4][5]


1937 advertisement for Villiger Export cigars

In 1888 Jean Villiger founded a small tobacco factory, in his native village of Pfeffikon, Switzerland. He died early in 1902 and the business was subsequently managed by his wife Louise (née Ottiger) since the children were still minors. In 1910 Louise Villiger founded the first subsidiary of the company, in nearby Tiengen, Grand Duchy of Baden. Today this branch is even larger than the Swiss headquarters founded over twenty years earlier (Villiger Söhne GmbH). After her sons reached legal age and returned from gaining professional experience abroad (specifically in the United States for Max) they took-over the company in the early 1920s. The management was now with Max Villiger (1897–1966)[6] and his brother Hans Villiger (1892–1981).[7] They were responsible for building the company into a multinational concern and international brand.[8][9]

Due to Hans not having children, Max's children gradually entered the company. Heinrich Villiger (born 1930) who intended to study economics, was the first one and passed on his studies after completing the Matura, and was instead educated in the tobacco trade. He currently still chairs and has the controlling interest of the family business. He is believed to be the oldest tobacco manufacturer in the world who is still active in daily business.[10][11][12] The middle daughter, Monika Villiger (born 1936), became a member of the company only in 1967 when she joined as export director.[13] She would later become a curator of history and engages in municipal civic organizations such as the tobacco museum.[14] The youngest child and son of the family, Kaspar Villiger, would be a majority shareholder of the concern until his election into Federal Council (Switzerland) in 1989.[15] He served one term as President of the Swiss Confederation in 1995.[16]

Since 1989 Villiger is managed by Heinrich Villiger (and his descendants). He founded the first joint venture together with Cuban partners for the exclusive import and distribution of Havanna cigars in Germany, which is known as Fifth Avenue Trading Products GmbH. The company has several subsidiaries. Since 2016 they have a permanent office in the United States (Villiger North America Inc.) and in 2020 they opened a new production facility in Esteli, Nicaragua.[17]



  1. ^ AG, DV Bern. "Villiger Söhne AG". Commercial register of canton Luzern. Retrieved 2023-05-17.
  2. ^ "Heinrich Villiger holt Enkel in den Verwaltungsrat". Luzerner Zeitung (in German). 2018-06-19. Retrieved 2023-05-17.
  3. ^ Plüss, Rahel (2017-12-06). "Waldshu-Tiengen: Villiger Gruppe: Heinrich Villiger (87) ist wieder alleiniger Chef". SÜDKURIER Online (in German). Retrieved 2023-05-17.
  4. ^ Inc, M. Shanken Communications. "Villiger Cigars North America". Cigar Aficionado. Retrieved 2023-05-17. {{cite web}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  5. ^ Inc, M. Shanken Communications. "Villiger Cigars North America Moves Into Miami Headquarters". Cigar Aficionado. Retrieved 2023-05-17. {{cite web}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  6. ^ "Portrait Archiv ZGF Max Villiger-Heiz Pfeffikon". www.portraitarchiv.ch. Retrieved 2023-05-17.
  7. ^ "Portrait Archiv ZGF Hans Villiger Pfeffikon". www.portraitarchiv.ch. Retrieved 2023-05-17.
  8. ^ "Villiger Company History". www.jmginternational.com. Retrieved 2023-05-17.
  9. ^ GmbH, Olai Interactive. "History". www.villigercigars.com. Retrieved 2023-05-17.
  10. ^ "Biography Heinrich Villiger". www.heinrichvilliger.ch. Retrieved 2023-05-17.
  11. ^ "Ältester Zigarrenunternehmer der Welt". Tele M1 (in Swiss High German). 2020-06-01. Retrieved 2023-05-17.
  12. ^ Baigger, Katja (2016-08-09). "Der letzte Patron des Stumpenlands". Neue Zürcher Zeitung (in Swiss High German). ISSN 0376-6829. Retrieved 2023-05-17.
  13. ^ ""Persönlich" aus dem Kulturhaus West: Radio- und Tabakgeschichten in 60 Minuten". Zofinger Tagblatt (in German). 2020-02-04. Retrieved 2023-05-17.
  14. ^ "Sommerserie – Mit 100 Franken durch den Aargau: Reicht das für 6 Tage?". Aargauer Zeitung (in German). 2019-07-15. Retrieved 2023-05-17.
  15. ^ "Neue Zürcher Nachrichten 2 February 1989 — e-newspaperarchives.ch". www.e-newspaperarchives.ch. Retrieved 2023-05-17.
  16. ^ "Freiburger Nachrichten 9 December 1994 — e-newspaperarchives.ch". www.e-newspaperarchives.ch. Retrieved 2023-05-17.
  17. ^ "Villiger opened a brand new factory in Estelí". Cigar Journal. 2021-11-10. Retrieved 2023-05-17.