George Clooney's tequila brand Casamigos bought by Diageo
Drinks giant Diageo has inked a one billion US dollar deal (£790 million) to buy a premium tequila brand co-founded by Hollywood actor George Clooney.
The owner of Guinness and Captain Morgan's rum said it planned to put US-based Casamigos through a global expansion to help strengthen its foothold in the tequila market.
Casamigos, which was founded by the Ocean's Eleven actor alongside Rande Gerber and Mike Meldman four years ago, looks set to bolster the number of cases sold by 41% to 170,000 by the end of this year.
Ivan Menezes, chief executive of Diageo, said: "We are delighted to announce this transaction today to extend our participation in the tequila category.
"It supports our strategy to focus on the high growth super-premium and above segments of the category.
"With the global strength of Diageo we expect to expand the reach of Casamigos to markets beyond the US to capitalise on the significant international potential of the brand.
"We look forward to building on the remarkable success of Casamigos to date."
The move values Casamigos at one billion US dollars (£790 million), with a down payment of 700 million US dollars (£552 million) followed by a further 300 million US dollar (£237 million) over the next 10 years based on performance.
The deal, which was funded through cash and debt, is expected to be complete in the second half of this year, subject to regulatory clearance.
Diageo said the founders of the firm will continue to "promote the brand and provide their leadership and vision".
Mr Gerber, Casamigos co-founder, said: "What started from a friendship and an idea to create the best tasting, smoothest tequila as our own house tequila to drink and share with friends, has quickly turned into the fastest growing super-premium tequila.
"Casamigos has always been brought to you by those who drink it and we look forward to continuing that, working alongside the expertise and global reach of Diageo."