When you say Xikar, the word by itself directly reflects a vast selection of Cigar accessories including the famous cutter with the eye drop shape.
Having the Headquarter in Kansas City, Missouri, Kurt Van Keppel and Scott Almsberger co-founded Xikar company in 1996. Since that date, the company has been awarded many International trophies for best Cigar Accessories. In 2016, they celebrated the company’s 20th anniversary by introducing a special edition Xi1 cutter. They were also awarded in the same year a trademark by the US Patent and Trademark Office on the shape of Xi cutter, which by the way provides a life time warranty for customers.
With the involvement of Scoboda Capital Partners LLC, Quality Importers Trading Company acquired Xikar Inc. and thus becoming the largest Cigar accessory suppliers to premium Cigar business. The two Xikar co-founders will will continue to run Xikar’s operations with minority partnership as Executive Vice Presidents, while reporting to Michael Celluci, president and COO of QI.
From the Tobacco Plus Expo (TPE) that was held in Las Vegas from January 30 to February 1st, 2018, Celluci said “I have a lot of respect for the company Kurt and Scott have built. They have established a strong portfolio of market-leading products”… “We are excited for the combination of these two companies. This is a perfect marriage, leveraging the strong brand positioning of XIKAR, and full services of QI. Our goal is to deliver a single all-encompassing solution to our retail partners focused on aggressive sales planning, innovative product development, and outstanding customer service”… “This group has shown an unwavering commitment to succeed, a group that is filled with fight and drive – and I am proud to be a part of it.”
In his turn, Mike Giordano (QI CEO) commented: “On behalf of the QI family of businesses, we are excited to announce the acquisition of XIKAR, Inc., which marks our largest and most impactful transaction since our inception 18 years ago. This is a transformational event in the cigar accessory category, creating an industry-leading partnership with enormous growth potential in existing and new markets. Unlike all of our previous acquisitions, XIKAR contributes a coordinated and experienced team of professionals, as well as a set of high quality, branded products and services, altogether enhancing the value proposition for our retail partners. The pure enthusiasm we have witnessed from Kurt and Scott to join the QI team has been inspiring for all of us. As with all transitions of this kind, there is much work to be done, and we will keep our focus on executing in the most effective manner for our customers and employees. Along the way, together, we will continue making strategic acquisitions to fulfill our mission to be the most comprehensive supplier of smoking accessories in the industry worldwide.”
QI CEO added that the operation will remain as it is for at least one year including the physical location, giving enough time for the new owners to evaluate the business more closely before making any changes.
It is worth noting that this is the 18th acquisition for Quality Importers in their 18-year history. The company was founded in 2000. Previously in 2015, they also acquired Palió cigar cutter brand, followed by a similar acquisition of Orleans Group specialized in humidor and cigar accessories.
Van Keppel acknowledged his happiness in his move and said “We at XIKAR are extremely pleased to partner with Mike Giordano and Michael Cellucci at QI, to expand the global reach of both companies’ products and services. Through this process, my respect and admiration for Mike Giordano and the company he has built grew exponentially. Michael Cellucci was a great hire by Mike. His experience, strategic vision and natural leadership skills have really helped us bring the vision of combining these two great companies into focus.”
Categories: Cigar Companies News