Diageo, the world's largest spirits maker, has announced that it has agreed to buy Aviation American Gin, co-owned by Hollywood actor Ryan Reynolds, through the acquisition of Aviation Gin LLC and Davos Brands LLC for up to $610 million (€515 million).
Under the deal, Diageo will also own other brands in the Davos Brands' portfolio, including Astral Tequila, Sombra Mezcal and TYKU Sake, with Reynolds retaining an ownership interest in Aviation American Gin.
The move comes just two weeks after the maker of Johnnie Walker whisky and Smirnoff vodka posted a yearly profit that nearly halved as widespread closures of pubs and restaurants, cancellation of sporting events and a plunge in duty free sales hit global demand.
The company isn't new to acquiring brands owned by famous Hollywood celebrities. In 2017, it paid $1 billion in total to acquire the super premium tequila brand, Casamigos, that was co-founded by 'Ocean's Eleven' star George Clooney.
Rise In Gin Consumption In The US
The deal also comes at a time when consumption of gin has been rising in the United States.
According to the Distilled Spirits Council, distillers sold nearly 10 million 9-litre cases of gin in the United States in 2019, generating $918 million in revenue, a 3% rise over 2018.
Aviation American Gin grew volumes at over 100% in 2019, adding the highest number of cases and contributing 40% of super premium gin segment growth in the United States, Diageo said in a statement.
Aviation American will join Diageo's wide ranging portfolio of gins, that include Tanqueray and Gordon's. Shares of Diageo were up 0.7% at 2620.5 pence in afternoon trading.