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Ryan Reynolds nets payday in £466m gin deal

Written by on 17/08/2020

Hollywood actor Ryan Reynolds is set to toast a big payday after a US gin brand he invested in was bought by the world’s largest spirits maker.

Diageo said on Monday that it was to pay $610m (£466m) for Aviation American Gin, co-owned by the Deadpool star, and its majority owner Davos Brands.

Under the terms, Reynolds will remain the public face of the gin brand for the next 10 years and retain a stake.

Blake Lyvely and Ryan Reynolds
Image: Ryan Reynolds has been married to Blake Lively since 2012

The value of the deal to the actor, who has a reported net worth of $75m, was not disclosed.

The full price, due in installments, will depend on future performance.

Aviation reported 100% growth in sales volumes last year as demand for premium gin surges globally.

Diageo, which already has Tanqueray and other gins in its stable of drinks brands, has a history of taking control of celebrity-driven spirits.

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The FTSE 100 firm paid $1bn in 2017 for the tequila brand Casamigos – co-founded by George Clooney.

Reynolds said of his windfall: “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.

Diageo's stable includes the Johnnie Walker whisky brand
Image: Diageo’s stable of spirits includes Johnnie Walker whisky and Smirnoff vodka

“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.”

Diageo chief executive, Ivan Menezes, said of the deal: “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.”

 Sky News

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