Universal Corporation

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

The Universal Corporation is based in Richmond, Virginia, and is a holding company engaged in three businesses: tobacco marketing, lumber, and agricultural commodity processing and trading. A fourth business, Lawyer's Title Insurance Corporation, was spun off on Oct. 1, 1991.

Universal Corporation's core business is Universal Leaf Tobacco, which generated 86% of the company's fiscal year 1991 operating profits. It is the company's original business. Universal is an independent leaf tobacco dealer, that in 1991 had more than a 40% share of the domestic tobacco processing market and over 25%of the global market. Domestic earnings accounted for 46% of Universal's operating profit in 1991.

Universal Corporation's business entails selecting, buying, shipping, processing, packing, storing, and financing leaf tobacco in the United States and other countries on behalf of cigarette and other tobacco product manufacturers worldwide. Universal itself does not manufacture cigarettes or any other consumer tobacco products.

Universal Leaf Tobacco is a major beneficiary of the worldwide demand for American-blend cigarettes.Universal Corp. Company report, March 10, 1992

Dr. Eugene Trani, President of Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), was appointed to Universal Corporation's Board of Directors on February 11, 2000. VCU operates VCU Medical Center, and a School of Public Health. According to a Securities Exchange Commission filing dated August 9, 2007, Dr. Trani owned 6,250 shares of common stock in Universal Corporation. According to Universal Corporation's web site, Dr. Trani in September, 2007 was still a Director on the Corporation's Board. [1]



Universal Corporation
P.O. Box 25099
Richmond, VA 23260 USA
Phone: (804) 359-9311
Website: http://www.universalcorp.com/


  1. Universal Corporation, "Eugene P. Trani: Director", accessed September 2007.
  2. Universal Corporation Board, , accessed April 28, 2020.

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