Kaizad Hansotia negotiates sale of Gurkha. A few weeks ago the founder and chairman of Gurkha Cigars, Kaizad Hansotia, stepped down. In the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd, the content on his personal Facebook stirred protests. After years of right-winged and sometimes even blatant racist posts, people were fed up. Many cigar enthusiasts and retailers called for a Gurkha boycott.
Within a day, Gurkha released a statement that the company had reason to believe Hansotia’s account was hacked. Yet, even when asked, no proof was provided. If this was truly a hack, it was a high impact hack. It endangered the future of Gurkha. Then a police report would have been filed, and most likely the FBI would be involved. Nothing like that happened.
Jim Colucci, Juan Lopez, and Christine Martinez de Castro from Gurkha Cigars held a town hall over Zoom. For which Ministry of Cigars gives them credit. They knew on forehand it would be a heated discussion over things said by their employer. During the town hall, it was mentioned that Hansotia was asked to leave “over a pattern of social media postings”. That further confirms the belief that the hack story was just a cover-up.
But many cigar smokers knew that Hansotia was more than the founder and chairman of Gurkha Cigars. He is also the owner. Currently, he still has 50% of the shares of the company. Stepping down isn’t enough to call off the boycott. Gurkha Cigars knows that and Kaizad Hansotia knows that. At the town hall meeting, Jim Colucci assured everybody that Hansotia is divesting from Gurkha. But with big deals like that, it would take some time.
Several reliable sources within the cigar industry reached out to Ministry of Cigars about the sale. There are rumors that a consortium of Pakistani businessmen is willing to buy Hansotia’s stake in Gurkha Cigars. Ministry of Cigars reached out to Gurkha Cigars. The company confirms that Hansotia and Gurkha are negotiating with two groups of investors. But denies that either of them is a Pakistani consortium.