Sometimes, the best mixer for premium liquor is a big name.
Diageo, the large British beverage company, has teamed with rapper-turned-entrepreneur Sean "Diddy" Combs to acquire high-end tequila brand DeLeon.
The partnership between Diageo and Combs Wine & Spirits follows a 2007 deal between the companies to develop the Ciroc vodka brand. Diageo said sales of Ciroc have exploded from 50,000 to nearly 2 million cases per year since that deal.
Diageo said in a statement that it wanted to work with Combs again because of his "access to influencers and proven track record of marketing luxury lifestyle brands."
“Expanding our relationship with Sean Combs into tequila was a natural choice given Sean's ability to galvanize support for luxury brands, as we've seen with our work together on Ciroc," said Larry Schwartz, president of Diageo North America.
Combs said in a statement that he was excited about the new partnership.
“Celebration is a cornerstone of all my businesses, and this joint venture is a natural extension of that portfolio,” Combs said. “DeLeon is an outstanding brand that appeals to those who love exceptional tequila in a distinctive bottle. Together with Diageo, we will take DeLeon to new heights."
DeLeon has five varieties with suggested retail prices of $120 to $1,000 per bottle.
Diageo is a leading distributor of premium alcohol, beer and wine. Its portfolio includes Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, JεB, Windsor, Buchanan's and Bushmills whiskeys, Smirnoff, Ciroc and Ketel One vodkas, Baileys, Captain Morgan, Tanqueray and Guinness.
Its shares were down $1.77, or 1.4%, in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The company also trades on the London Stock Exchange.
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