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    UPDATE: Altadis, Commonwealth Brands Unify Sales, Marketing Teams

    The move will provide better customer service and greater sales coverage.

    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Altadis USA and Commonwealth Brands are integrating their sales and marketing units. The moves comes as the companies look to form a unified team that will provide greater sales coverage and more comprehensive service to our customer.

    According to a release from Altadis, the integration will put the company in a stronger position to drive growth across its U.S. mass market portfolio that comprises cigarettes, cigars, fine cut tobacco, pipe, papers and tubes.

    Altadis made headlines earlier this year when it formed a new Premium Cigar Division within the United States, as CSNews Online previously reported.

    UPDATE: One is a leader in cigars, the other cigarettes and now they are coming together to form one sales and marketing company to sell across all product lines.

    Altadis USA, known for its expertise in the cigar world, employs a sales team of 200 representatives. Commonwealth Brands Inc., a well-known player in the cigarette arena, employs a sales team of 600 representatives. But now, with yesterday news that the two companies will integrate their sales and marketing team, they will boast a combined force of 800, according to Eric Workman, senior vice president of marketing for Altadis USA.

    "On the cigar side it is a huge increase from 200 to 800," he said. "And on the cigarette side it is still a 30 percent increase."

    Both Altadis and Commonwealth Brands are owned by Imperial Tobacco Plc. Altadis is headquartered in Fort Lauderdale and Commonwealth Brands calls Goodlettsville, Tenn. its home base.

    Workman added that the total integration process should take between six months and year. At that time the sales and marketing force will operate as a separate company. The new sales and marketing company, which is still unnamed, will eventually be together in one centralized location, he explained.


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