Commonwealth Brands Moves to Middle Tennessee

GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. -- After a search lasting more than a year, Commonwealth Brands Inc., the country's fourth-largest tobacco manufacturer, will be relocating its corporate office here in Spring 2011.

The company has been based in Bowling Green, Ky., since it was formed in 1991. Its growing employee base prompted the move.

"After an exhaustive search, which included Bowling Green and other parts of Kentucky, we finally settled on Goodlettsville," stated Jonathan Cox, the company's CEO. "The city has gone out of its way to welcome us and the investment that we bring and, in the end, it was a decision that we are delighted with."

Commonwealth expects to bring with the move the majority of its 100 staff and already has plans for further expansion and employment opportunities. "We are excited about the move and are thrilled to be able to make this investment into the Middle Tennessee community, which will include the creation of many new jobs," Cox said.

A Goodlettsville location will allow the company to continue its aggressive investment in jobs, people and brands, the company said in a statement, adding it projects a substantial increase in corporate office jobs across all its key corporate functions following the move.

"Goodlettsville is a great location for us," said CFO John Mercer "It not only offers us improved transport links, but also a significantly enhanced opportunity to recruit talented individuals."

Commonwealth Brands' decision to relocate to Goodlettsville reiterates the fact that Middle Tennessee is a place where people and businesses want to be, said Ralph Schulz, president and CEO of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. "Corporate headquarters are one of our top targets for job growth in the region, so Commonwealth's decision to join the growing base of headquarters in the region is a particularly significant one."

Commonwealth employs 1,000 people, including over 250 in its manufacturing facility in Reidsville, N.C. Its brands include Sonoma, Davidoff, Fortuna, Rave and USA Gold cigarettes. Commonwealth also manufactures and markets rolling tobaccos, including Premier, Rave and McClintock, and a full range of rolling papers, including Joker and EZWider.

Commonwealth Brands is owned by the British firm Imperial Tobacco, one of the world's largest international tobacco companies.

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