LAS VEGAS and VANCOUVER, B.C. —TAAT Global Alternatives Inc. has entered an agreement to acquire HLND Holdings Inc., the parent entity of a convenience and tobacco wholesaler based in Ohio, for $5.2 million.
HLND has a network of more than 5,000 convenience stores through its direct and indirect relationships with independent and corporate retailers, as well as a network of regional sub-distributors, according to tobacco- and nicotine-free cigarette maker TAAT.
Through acquiring HLND, TAAT will convert certain aspects of its supply chain into wholly owned internal business units. It will also use HLND’s executive team and personnel in sales, logistics and product development to commercialize TAAT products on a larger scale, according to the company.
“In competitive industries such as tobacco, long-term success largely depends on how self-sustaining and independent your operations are at a macro level,” TAAT CEO Setti Coscarella said. “TAAT has proven quite popular in the Midwest, and I believe that by owning a regional fulfillment center, we will be able to distribute our products more efficiently and more profitably as we continue to build market share.”
Besides TAAT, HLND carries leading brands cigarettes and alternative products including e-cigarettes and vaping cartridges. It also carries other convenience items such as candy, snacks, beverages and paper products, TAAT said.
“Ever since we started carrying TAAT over a year ago, it has proven to be an impressive product among our existing tobacco offerings,” HLND Director Barry Adelman said. “Over the past several decades we have seen numerous alternatives to tobacco cigarettes hitting the market, though for a combustible product to be nicotine-free and tobacco-free is rather unique, and that alone does a great job at capturing the attention of our retail accounts, leading to repeat orders when consumers are ultimately compelled to make the switch.”
TAAT sells tobacco- and nicotine-free cigarettes that come in Original, Smooth and Menthol varieties. Its base material is Beyond Tobacco, a proprietary blend that undergoes a patent-pending refinement technique causing it to smell and taste like tobacco, the company said.
The companies expect the transaction to close by March 15.
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