Under new ownership

Lionheart Capital, in partnership with entrepreneur John H. Ruiz, has purchased the Cigarette Racing Team.

27 May 2021


Cigarette Racing Team, the name synonymous with high-powered luxury performance powerboats, is under new ownership with Lionheart Capital purchasing the brand from long-time owner Skip Braver, who purchased the brand in 2002.

The sale was reached in tandem with billionaire entrepreneur John H. Ruiz, and represents big plans for the company and the future of boat racing.

“After 20 years of building the Cigarette product line and brand, I look forward to seeing [Lionheart Capital founder and CEO Ophir Sternberg] and John’s vision for the company become a reality,” said Braver.

“Lionheart Capital and John H. Ruiz share my commitment to quality and performance, as well as my passion for Cigarette’s brand, and I’m confident in their ability to take the company to even greater heights based on their own successful ventures, resources and business knowledge,” he added.

“I am thrilled about our acquisition of Cigarette Racing and believe that Cigarette Racing’s brand is daring, defiant and pushes barriers,” said Sternberg on the purchase.


“With that, my partner John H. Ruiz and I, look forward to taking the company into its next chapter where we build upon the legacy of the brand and create significant value in the future through powerful partnerships and unique collaborations, production amplification and increased distribution channels.”

“Ophir and I both are excited about Cigarette Racing and what we can contribute to the company,” added Ruiz.

With an extensive background in building successful technology platforms, Ruiz would later express his excitement in utilising this experience to implement the latest technological advancements, innovations and safety features for the brand’s future vessels.

“I have been an avid fan for decades,” he said. “I personally own numerous Cigarette hand-crafted powerboats and believe that the brand is on the verge of a new wave of acceleration.

“Cigarette Racing is such an iconic American name in the world of boating, that it is truly an honour to be a part of the continuation of its legacy that’s been going strong for over 50 years and look forward to taking it into unchartered waters.”

Specialising in custom-made, hand-crafted, high-performance powerboats and with roots in offshore racing’s history, Cigarette Racing Team is considered one of the market’s premier powerboat builder.

Since its 1969 inception, the company has grown in size and reputation, primarily attributed to the hard-racing, fast-lane living of founder Don Aronow.

The brand recently collaborated with Italian Architect and Designer Giorgio Cassetta, the 2019 World Superyacht Award winner, to create a boat of renowned strength and style, the Tirranna 59’.

At this point, it is unclear whether the brand will move from their long-time home of Miami, Florida.

Currently, Cigarette Racing Team powerboats range from US$600K (AU$775394.40) to US$3.5 million (AU$3,876,785.29).


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