Four Value Cigarette Brands Joining Premier Manufacturing Portfolio

RALEIGH, N.C. — The consumer products division of U.S. Tobacco Cooperative Inc. (USTC) is adding several value cigarettes brands to its lineup.

Premier Manufacturing of Chesterfield, Mo., has reached an agreement to purchase 100 percent of the stock of King Maker Marketing Inc. of Paramus, N.J., from its parent company ITC Limited. The nationally distributed brands of value are Ace, Checkers, Gold Crest and HiVal. 

"We are extremely pleased with this acquisition of King Maker Marketing and adding ownership of four [Master Settlement Agreement] Signatory brands to our consumer products portfolio. Each of the brands has a solid sales history and consumer following,” said USTC CEO Stuart Thompson.

Completion date of the transaction is set for November.

"The addition of these nationally recognized brands to our portfolio allows us to increase market share in our category and expand distribution due to our larger sales and marketing organization," said USTC Vice President of Consumer Products Russ Mancuso. 

Raleigh-based USTC is a grower-owned marketing cooperative that produces U.S. flue-cured tobacco grown by 750 member growers in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia. Member grower tobacco is processed and sold as raw materials to cigarette manufacturers worldwide. 

USTC also produces consumer products from Premier Manufacturing, for the U.S. market under brand names of Wildhorse, 1839, Shield, 1st Class, Ultra Buy and TRAFFIC.

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