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The deal includes an upfront payment of $335 million, with an additional $275 million up for grabs based on the performance of the Aviation gin brand over a 10 year period.
Reynolds will retain an “ongoing ownership stake” in the gin brand, Diageo says. As part of the deal, the company has also acquired Astral Tequila, Sombra Mezcal and TYKU Sake, which are the other liquor brands owned by Aviation’s parent company Davos Brands LLC.
While it was founded in 2006, Reynolds only acquired a stake in the gin company two years ago.
Liquor and spirit brands have become a lucrative business for celebrities. George Clooney and two friends started a tequila company, Casamigos, in 2013, and ultimately sold it to Diageo in 2017 in a deal called at as much as $1 billion. Last year, the Breaking Bad duo of Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul started a mezcal brand of their own, Dos Hombres.
Reynolds has also expanded his business interests to other areas. Last month he joined the board of directors of Match Group, the parent company of Match.com and Tinder.
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