Bowling Green tobacco manufacturer Commonwealth Brands Inc. has canceled plans to relocate its headquarters to the Nashville area and will instead integrate operations with Florida-based sister company Altadis USA and move to Fort Lauderdale.
In announcing the merged operations, the companies – which are owned by London-based Imperial Tobacco Group – said the integration would provide greater sales coverage and more comprehensive services. The combined portfolio will incorporate cigarettes, fine-cut tobacco, mass-market cigars, pipe, papers and tubes. The premium cigar division of Altadis USA will remain as a separate entity.
Commonwealth officials said the integration of the two companies’ sales and marketing functions is expected to be complete by the end of the year; the transition of all other departments to Fort Lauderdale will take approximately a year.
Commonwealth Brands announced late last year that it had outgrown its Bowling Green facility and would be moving the company’s headquarters and some 100 jobs to Goodlettsville, Tenn., by mid-2011. The decision to cancel the move caught Goodlettsville officials by surprise.
“It’s a blow when we lose several dozens of high-paying jobs in a community that everyone was looking forward to getting going,” Goodlettsville Economic and Community Development Director Tom Tucker told The Nashville Business Journal. “Corporate offices feed the retail machine.”