Tobacco

TAAT Closes on HLND Acquisition

Tobacco-free cigarette company makes new hires, plans consumer research at Ohio tobacco outlets
TAAT cigarettes
Photograph courtesy of TAAT Global Alternatives Inc.

LAS VEGAS and VANCOUVER, B.C. — Tobacco- and nicotine-free cigarette company TAAT Global Alternatives Inc. closed on its acquisition of HLND Holdings Inc.

HLND is the parent entity of ADCO Distributors Inc., a tobacco distributor based in Canton, Ohio. It 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 TAAT. TAAT, Las Vegas and Vancouver, B.C., paid approximately $4.9 million for the company through cash and equity.

ADCO was TAAT’s first U.S. distributor, and as of May, TAAT was in hundreds of stores in Ohio, which the company plans to aggressively build upon through ADCO’s distribution network and commercialization resources.

“In less than two years, ADCO has generated wonderful results for us as a distributor and has contributed to our growth from being a new competitor in the tobacco category to a brand sold nationwide as a better alternative to tobacco cigarettes,” TAAT Co-Founder Joe Deighan said. “With a network of over 2,500 U.S. retailers of TAAT, our business model has matured to the point that we can focus on creating strategic efficiencies by taking certain aspects of our operations in-house, such as distribution.”

Following the acquisition, TAAT added Pat Bell, ADCO’s COO, and Phillip Krumlauf, an account manager and sales trainer for R.J. Reynolds, to its executive management team.

“The benefits of acquiring ADCO go far beyond their distribution infrastructure and wholesale network, as we are also onboarding some exceptionally talented veterans of the tobacco and convenience industries to our management team,” Deighan said. “As we continue to grow our presence in the tobacco space, this type of industry experience is invaluable to us for creating and maintaining a competitive edge.”

TAAT also gains three tobacco outlets operated by ADCO in Ohio, where it plans to launch store-level initiatives to capture feedback from adult smokers in various situations—like being offered TAAT in addition to a requested legacy tobacco product—to gain consumer insights.  

TAAT comes 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, according to the company.

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