New father of twins, George Clooney, and his friends and business partners, Rande Gerber and Mike Meldman, sold their tequila company, Casamigos, for a reported $1 billion to European alcohol company, Diageo. Not bad, especially considering they just began Casamigos in 2013.
The New York Times reported that George Clooney and his friends will get $700 million in cash. They will get up to an additional $300 million spread out over the next ten years if Casamigos does well for them and is able to hit sales targets.
The huge billion-dollar-deal has made the award-winning Clooney one of the most successful investors who are also celebrities, though there are others who are also doing quite well for themselves, like Leonardo DiCaprio and Kevin Spacey, who have invested in the mattress company, Casper. Justin Bieber is another successful investor who is a celeb, having rolled some of his earnings as one of the hottest musical artists around into Spotify.
Yet another famous celebrity who is a successful investor is Aston Kutcher. He has invested in numerous start-up companies, including Change.org and Airbnb.
George Clooney and his business partner, impresario Rande Gerber, got the idea to start-up their own tequila company after they spent several nights on Mexico’s Baja Peninsula partying and drinking various brands of tequila while at the vacation compound; they named the tequila in honor of, Casamigos.
At first, Casamigos Tequila started out as the duo’s “house spirit.” When Clooney and Gerber were told in January 2013 that, because of the amount of tequila they were producing, they would need to get a license to sell it commercially, they decided to sell Casamigos on a wider basis, to the general public. That was when they became business partners with real estate tycoon, Mike Meldman, and began selling Casamigos across the entire United States.
Casamigos soon became a very popular brand of tequila, selling more than 120,000 cases in 2016. In 2017, it is still one of the most popular brands of tequila around. It is estimated that there will be over 170,000 cases of Casamigos tequila sold by the end of the year.
Casamigos became such a hit with people who love drinking tequila that it came to the attention of the European spirit company, Diageo, which also sells Johnnie Walker Scotch and Guinness beer. Research data from the firm, IWSR, indicates that tequila sales increased 7.4 percent in 2016. That is a higher rate of increase than in any other category of hard liquor.
Diageo is no stranger to selling tequila, owning a brand called Don Julio. But executives at Diageo saw how well Casamigos was doing in the United States, and they think it will also be a popular tequila brand in other countries, justifying the huge price of up to $1 billion it is paying to Clooney, Gerber, and Meldman.
People reported that George Clooney said he and his two friends will still be a part of Casamigos Tequila. He joked that will be starting with a shot or two of the super-premium tequila, to celebrate the sale of the brand.
Actor George Clooney and two of his friends, Rande Gerber and Mike Meldman, are in for a massive pay-out when the spirit giant, Diageo, gives them up to $1 billion for their Casamigos Tequila company. Diageo stated in a press release that the deal they are making with Clooney and his two friends for Casamigos will officially close sometime in the second half of this year, with the trio of buds splitting the initial payment of $700,000 among themselves when the deal closes. The rest of the money will be based on how well the tequila-drinking population of the rest of the world takes to Casamigos, possibly amounting to as much as an additional $300 million over the next decade.
By John Samuels
Photo Courtesy Casamigos