Actor and entrepreneur Ryan Reynolds has sold his American Aviation Gin brand for up to $610 million. Reynolds struck a deal with Diageo, a giant of the alcoholic beverage industry, that will see the company paying Reynolds $335 million upfront. Reynolds could see up to another $275 million depending on how well the brand sells in the next decade. Reynolds will retain an ongoing ownership interest in Aviation American Gin. Diageo will also acquire Davos Brands, which has been the majority owner of Aviation American Gin, including its other brands such as Astral Tequila, Sombra Mezcal, and TYKU Sake. According to a press release, Aviation American Gin is the second-largest and one of the fastest-growing brands within the super-premium gin segment in the United States.
Reynolds said, "A little over two years ago, I became an owner of Aviation Gin because I love the taste of Aviation more than any other spirit. What I didn't expect was the sheer creative joy learning a new industry would bring. Growing the brand with my company, Maximum Effort Marketing, has been among the most fulfilling projects I've ever been involved with. I want to thank Diageo for their incredible team and passion. We're so excited for the next chapter of Aviation Gin, which, I promise, will require just as little reading."
Ivan Menezes, Chief Executive of Diageo, said "We are delighted to announce this transaction, which supports our participation in the super premium gin segment in the United States. The acquisition of Aviation American Gin and the Davos Brands portfolio is in line with our strategy to acquire high growth brands with attractive margins that support premiumisation. We are confident that Aviation American Gin will continue to shape and drive the growth of super premium gin in North America and we are looking forward to working with Ryan Reynolds and the Davos Brands team to accelerate future growth."
Andrew T. Chrisomalis, Co-Founder and CEO of Davos Brands, said, "Brands are an evolution, reflecting the vision and values of their founders, sculptors and stewards. Extraordinary partnership and teamwork brought us here, and with the continued creative genius of Ryan Reynolds, and this new, best in class global partnership with Diageo, the sky is truly the limit for Aviation American Gin and Davos Brands."
Debra Crew, President Diageo North America, commented "I am excited by the opportunity to bring these brands into Diageo. We believe Aviation American Gin will play an important role in building on the long term premiumisation trends in the United States. The entrepreneurialism of the Davos team and Ryan Reynolds combined with Diageo's strengths will help drive the continued momentum of the brand in North America and we feel confident that with Ryan's global reach that Aviation Gin can expand internationally."