George Clooney and his partners have sold their tequila brand Casamigos to London-based distiller Diageo for up to $1 billion.
The deal sees Diageo paying $700 million up front, with the potential for another $300 million payout over the next 10 years based on the tequila brand’s performance, according to CNBC. Diageo doesn’t expect Casamigos — which roughly translates to “house of friends” — to have any impact on its earnings until its fourth year under the new parent company.
“If you asked us four years ago if we had a billion dollar company, I don’t think we would have said yes,” Clooney said in a statement to Variety, confirming the deal. “This reflects Diageo’s belief in our company and our belief in Diageo. But we’re not going anywhere. We’ll still be very much a part of Casamigos. Starting with a shot tonight. Maybe two.”
The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2017.
Clooney and partners — entertainment entrepreneur Rande Gerber and real estate tycoon Michael Meldman — are expected to stay with the company after the sale. The men founded the brand initially as a private collection for their close friends and family, but once they were required to get a license to continue making the tequila, they began selling it publicly.
Diageo’s holdings already include Don Julio, DeLeon, and Peligroso brands. The sale was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.