Diageo is paying a high price to enrich its cocktail of spirits from American stars. Three years after putting $ 1 billion on the table to swallow Casamigos, the tequila brand co-founded by George Clooney, the British group is preparing to enrich its portfolio with Aviation, a gin in which Ryan Reynolds is a shareholder.
Known for superhero movies Deadpool, the second highest paid actor in Hollywood had invested two years ago in this brand “superpremium” (more than 30 dollars a bottle), whose sales doubled in 2019. Kept secret, they are estimated at 630,000 bottles. Ryan Reynolds will remain a minority shareholder in Aviation.
The world leader in spirits (including owner of Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker, Baileys and Tanqueray, as well as Guiness beer) is willing to shell out up to $ 610 million (depending on future performance) to afford Davos Brands. This company specializing in detecting trends and emerging brands in spirits also owned Astral tequila, Sombra mezcal and Tyku sake.
Anxious to surf the “premiumisation” (upmarket) of the spirits market, Diageo seems reassured by the presence of stars with its new brands. In the late 2000s, his Ciroc vodka signed a successful business partnership with rapper Puff Daddy. The group and the star went on to form a joint venture to acquire luxury tequila brand DeLeon. In 2014, Diageo launched Haig Club, a premium whiskey, in partnership with David Beckham.