It’s quite the payday for Casamigos – the George Clooney tequila company was only launched by the Hollywood star and co-founders Rande Gerber and Mike Meldman just four years ago.
The $1bn agreement comprises a $700m payout, while a further $300m can be secured based on performance over the next ten years.
Explaining how the launch came about, Clooney and Gerber have said on the website: “We love tequila – on the rocks, by the shot, and at times, straight from the bottle. Tequila-filled nights with friends is how Casamigos was born.
“Our idea was to make the best-tasting, smoothest tequila whose taste didn’t have to be covered up with salt or lime. So we did.”
That mindset is reflected in the brand name, with Casamigos translating into “house of friends”.
Although the brand has been taken over by Diageo, the Casamigos founding trio will remain involved to offer brand vision and leadership in line with their original ethos.
Casamigos co-founder Gerber, said: “What started from a friendship and an idea to create the best tasting, smoothest tequila as our own house tequila to drink and share with friends, has quickly turned into the fastest growing super-premium tequila.
“Casamigos has always been brought to you by those who drink it and we look forward to continuing that, working alongside the expertise and global reach of Diageo. Now even more people will be able to enjoy and experience our love and passion for Casamigos.”
Despite only being on the market four years, Casamigos has been a hit with experts and received awards in the US. As a result, 120,000 cases of the Clooney tequila were sold in 2016 – a 54 per cent CAGR over two years – which is set to rise to more than170,000 cases this year.
Under Diageo’s ownership, international expansion will be a focus, as the firm looks to make the Clooney tequila recognised overseas to build on US success.
Billed as “super-premium” by Diageo, with a price point that varies from £16 depending on bottle size and flavour, there are three types of the Clooney tequila:
(1) Blanco – Crisp, clean and aged for two months
(2) Reposado – Soft, oaky and aged for seven months
(3) Anejo – Sweet, spicy and aged for 14 months
“We are delighted to announce this transaction today to extend our participation in the tequila category. It supports our strategy to focus on the high growth super-premium and above segments of the category,” said Ivan Menezes, chief executive of Diageo.
“With the global strength of Diageo we expect to expand the reach of Casamigos to markets beyond the US to capitalise on the significant international potential of the brand. We look forward to building on the remarkable success of Casamigos to date.”