Diageo to buy Ryan Reynolds-backed gin brand Aviation in £466m deal
Spirit giant Diageo is to buy a gin brand co-owned by Hollywood actor Ryan Reynolds as part of a deal worth up to 610 million US dollars (£466 million).
The Tanqueray owner said it has agreed to acquire Aviation American Gin, which has been co-owned by the Deadpool actor since 2018.
It said it will acquire Aviation Gin and its majority owner Davos Brands – which owns three other spirit brands – for an initial payment of 335 million dollars (£271 million), with up to 275 million dollars (£210 million) depending on the gin brand’s performance.
Ryan Reynolds will retain a stake in the gin brand as part of the acquisition, it said.
The move will also see Diageo acquire Davos’ other brands – Astral Tequila, Sombra Mezcal and Tyku Sake.
Aviation Gin reported 100% growth in sales volumes in 2019 as demand for super-premium gin continues to surge in the US.
Ivan Menezes, chief executive of Diageo, said: “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.
“We are confident that Aviation American Gin will continue to shape and drive the growth of super premium gin in North America and we are looking forward to working with Ryan Reynolds and the Davos Brands team to accelerate future growth.”
Reynolds said: “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.
“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.”