Cigarette racing boats get a new owner at Lionheart Capital



Legendary powerboat brand Cigarette sold to Miami-based Lionheart Capital

Cigarette racing team

A legendary Miami yachting brand has a new owner.

Cigarette racing team, whose founder, Don Aronow, led a famous life before his violent death on a Miami side street, was bought by billionaire entrepreneur John H. Ruiz and Lionheart capital, better known as the parent company of the fast-casual BurgerFi chain and developer of real estate projects including the Ritz Carlton Residences Miami Beach.

The cigarette brand originated in 1969 when Aronow, who had made millions in the New Jersey construction industry, was sucked out of his South Florida retirement by the lure of powerboat racing. . Over the next decade, George Bush Sr., Princess Caroline of Monaco, and King Hussein of Jordan all became clients.

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Cigarette went on to have many owners before Skip Braver, a real estate developer, day trader, and electronics broker, bought it in 2002 for $ 11.5 million. In 2017, Braver moved the Cigarette business to a 115,000 square foot facility in Opa-locka.

The latest purchase price was not disclosed. Cigarette Racing motorboats now sell for between $ 600,000 and $ 3.5 million.

“I am delighted with our acquisition of Cigarette Racing and believe the Cigarette Racing brand is bold, provocative and pushes back barriers,” Lionheart CEO Ophir Sternberg said in a statement. “With this, my partner John H. Ruiz and I look forward to taking the company into its next chapter where we build on the brand’s heritage and create significant value in the future through powerful partnerships and unique collaborations, amplification of production and increased distribution channels. “

Rob Wile covers South Florida business, technology and economics. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern and Columbia University. He grew up in Chicago.

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