ICYDK, George Clooney and Rande Gerber are not only best friends but they’re also business partners. The two started an ultra-premium tequila brand in 2013 and it’s been quite successful. OK, very successful. But now, with two babies at home with wife Amal, Clooney may have realized he needed to scale back a bit. Gerber, being an understanding BFF, must have decided the timing was right for both of them, so they — along with partner Michael Meldman — decided now was the time to cash in on Casamigos. And cash in they did.
George, Rande and Mike just sold Casamigos to Diageo, a British beverage company. For $1 billion.
No, actually, one 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 said in a statement to E! News. “This reflects Diageo’s belief in our company and our belief in Diageo. But we’re not going anywhere. We’ll still be very much a part of Casamigos. Starting with a shot tonight. Maybe two.”
Damn right, these men should be celebrating. In 2013, the idea of starting their own liquor label was probably scoffed at, but it’s amazing what happens when you do the research, have a product you believe in, and market it well. They’re reaping the rewards. But a billion dollars? That seems exorbitant, especially since it simply started as a private tequila collection meant solely for their friends and family.
CNBC reports that Diageo will initially pay Clooney, Gerber and Meldman $700 million with the potential for another $300 million that will be based on the tequila’s performance over the next 10 years.
“We created Casamigos Tequila 4 years ago for us to drink personally, and selling it for 1 billion dollars is something we never could have imagined,” Gerber added in his own statement. “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.”
Not sure in what capacity they’ll remain with the Casamigos brand, which was named because it roughly translates to “house of friends.” Maybe they’ll just have to wear Casamigos T-shirts on a weekly basis? Perhaps Gerber’s kids can model them? Or maybe Clooney can get baby onesies made with the logo on it. Genius!