Diageo the liquor giant will pay $1 billion to obtain the George Clooney’s fast growing tequila, Casamigos. The Academy Award-winning actor created the tequila in 2013 George Clooney, Rande Gerber and Mike Meldman.
On Wednesday, Diageo the producer of Smirnoff and Don Julio announced it would pay $700 million for Casamigos. Diageo will also pay an extra $300 million in compensation based on performance.
Some other brands of the liquor giant include Deleon, Peligroso, Guinness, Captain Morgan, Ciroc and Ketel One Vodka.
President of Diageo North America, Deirdre Mahlan, made a statement to the Wall Street Journal “Together, we are excited about taking the tequila to a bigger audience globally.” Casamigos hopes the partnership with Diageo will expand its presence in the U.S. and internationally.
Clooney and Gerber began the Tequila production when they were looking to make their own “house” tequila for their properties in Cabo San Lucas.
In 2016, Casamigos sold over 120,00 9-litre cases in the United States. With such a high demand for tequila in the young nightlife of the U.S., the tequila is on track to sell 170,000 9-litre cases by the end of this year.
Last year Diageo shipped 120,000 cases of Casamigos across the U.S., gathering an annual growth of 54% in two years.
With the Mexican import volume growing in the U.S. since 2002, Casamigos tequila is growing into a strong performer in the U.S. The founders of Casamigos will continue to have a role in the “leadership and vision” of the tequila after Diageo’s takeover, said Diageo in a prepared statement.
The business deal between Casamigos and Diageo is Diageo’s second major acquisition in less than three years. The move follows Diageo’s decision to swap Bushmills Irish whiskey for full control of Don Julio tequila in 2014.
The second half of the deal between Casamigos and Diageo is to be finalized in the coming motnhs.