George Clooney
Denis Makarenko / Shutterstock.com

George Clooney Sells His Tequila Company for $1 Billion

Clooney started Casamigos in 2013 alongside two friends, Rande Gerber and Mike Meldman
George Clooney
Denis Makarenko / Shutterstock.com

George Clooney, with help from friends Rande Gerber and Mike Meldman, started a tequila company “by accident” in 2013, after devising the plan on a vacation in Mexico (while, of course, drinking quite a bit of tequila).

Now, beyond the trio’s belief, they are exchanging the brand for a whopping price tag of $1 billion. “If you asked us four years ago if we had a billion dollar company, I don’t think we would have said yes,” Clooney told CNBC.

Diageo, the British company that acquired the tequila brand, tweeted this morning: “We believe @casamigos will play a complementary role alongside our existing tequila portfolio.”

Original founders Clooney, Gerber, and Meldman will be remaining with their tequila venture even after its acquisition by the British beverage company. “We remain committed to our brand and look forward to our future with Diageo and continuing our work with our dedicated and passionate Casamigos team,” Gerber told the New York Post. (The tequila is made with 100 percent blue agave and is designed to be smooth enough to drink straight, with no lime or salt.)

CNBC first reported on the exchange, revealing that Diageo has agreed to an initial price of $700 million with the potential for another $300 million based on the brand’s performance over the next decade. The company doesn’t anticipate the newly acquired Casamigos to impact its earnings for the next three years, but they do expect the brand to contribute to their bottom line during its fourth year in their portfolio.

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Diageo competitor Pernod Ricard also recently made headlines with their purchase of the Del Maguey mezcal brand. To learn about the differences between tequila and mezcal, click here.