CLARENCE, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--22nd Century Group, Inc. (OTCBB:XXII) today announced that it has purchased all of the equipment at a cigarette manufacturing facility in Mocksville, North Carolina. Until now, 22nd Century Group’s subsidiary, Goodrich Tobacco Company, had produced all of its products through contract manufacturers.
22nd Century Group and NASCO Products, LLC entered into a lease agreement for the 61,500 square foot manufacturing facility this past October. “This turnkey facility will speed up our own production and distribution of our brands by at least 6 months,” stated Joseph Pandolfino, Founder and CEO of 22nd Century Group. 22nd Century plans to first manufacture SPECTRUM research cigarettes within the next 30 days and shortly thereafter begin production of its RED SUN and MAGIC super-premium brands. The Company also expects to enter into a manufacturing agreement with a strategic partner and to begin exporting its products later in 2014.
As reported last September, 22nd Century Group and NASCO Products entered into a binding agreement for 22nd Century Group to purchase NASCO Products. NASCO Products, a federally licensed tobacco product manufacturer, is also a participating member of the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement known as the MSA, an agreement among 46 U.S. states and the tobacco industry administered by the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG). Mr. Pandolfino added, “22nd Century is working with NAAG to obtain the consent of the attorneys general for our acquisition of NASCO Products and we have made great progress over the last few weeks.”
22nd Century Group will immediately start hiring key personnel formerly employed at the factory, which was producing cigarettes up until August 2013. The Company believes that having its own factory will create tremendous shareholder value since control and production of its differentiated tobacco products will be greatly facilitated and costs will be reduced.
Terry Bralley, President of Davie County Economic Development Commission, stated, “We welcome 22nd Century Group to North Carolina. As a growing and innovative publicly-traded company, 22nd Century will rejuvenate one of North Carolina’s important manufacturing enterprises. This is exceedingly good news and will assist us in restoring jobs to Davie County.”
22nd Century Group’s legal team was led by William F. Savino of Damon Morey LLP. The Company’s winning bid in the Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding was $3.22 million, $50,000 more than the losing bid. The Order was signed by the Honorable William L. Stocks on December 2, 2013. Approximately one-third of the manufacturing equipment purchased will not be needed and is expected to be sold to other parties that have already expressed interest.
For additional information, please visit: www.xxiicentury.com
About 22nd Century Group, Inc.
22nd Century is a plant biotechnology company whose proprietary technology allows for the levels of nicotine and other nicotinic alkaloids (e.g., nornicotine, anatabine and anabasine) in the tobacco plant to be decreased or increased through genetic engineering and plant breeding. 22nd Century owns or is the exclusive licensee of 114 issued patents in 78 countries plus an additional 36 pending patent applications. Goodrich Tobacco Company, LLC and Hercules Pharmaceuticals, LLC are wholly-owned subsidiaries of 22nd Century. Goodrich Tobacco is focused on commercial tobacco products and potential less harmful cigarettes. Hercules Pharmaceuticals is focused on X-22, a prescription smoking cessation aid in development.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements: This press release contains forward-looking information, including all statements that are not statements of historical fact regarding the intent, belief or current expectations of 22nd Century Group, Inc., its directors or its officers with respect to the contents of this press release. The words “may,” “would,” “will,” “expect,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “intend” and similar expressions and variations thereof are intended to identify forward-looking statements. We cannot guarantee future results, levels of activity or performance. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date that they were made. These cautionary statements should be considered with any written or oral forward-looking statements that we may issue in the future. Except as required by applicable law, including the securities laws of the United States, we do not intend to update any of the forward-looking statements to conform these statements to reflect actual results, later events or circumstances, or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. You should carefully review and consider the various disclosures made by us in our annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2012, filed on March 18, 2013, including the section entitled “Risk Factors,” and our other reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission which attempt to advise interested parties of the risks and factors that may affect our business, financial condition, results of operation and cash flows. If one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or if the underlying assumptions prove incorrect, our actual results may vary materially from those expected or projected.