Universal Corporation was founded in 1911 when American Tobacco Company broke up and Jacquelin P. Taylor formed Universal out of six leaf merchants.
Today Universal Corporation is the holding company for principal subsidiary Universal Leaf Tobacco Company, which buys, sells, processes, packs, ships, and stores leaf tobacco. The company has operations in 30 countries in North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa, including the United States, Germany, Belgium, China, and Zimbabwe.
Leaf tobacco is then sold to cigarette makers. Universal Corporation also buys and sells dark tobacco used in smokeless products, pipe tobacco, and cigars.
Universal Corporation trades publicly on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol UVV, is a member of the S&P 600, is a member of the Russell 2000, is #853 in the Fortune 1000, has 26,000 employees, and had $2.18 billion in revenue in 2014.