The world’s largest spirits maker Diageo has announced it will buy Ryan Reynolds’ gin brand Aviation American Gin.
The company will buy Aviation American Gin, which is co-owned by the Hollywood star, through the acquisition of Aviation Gin and Davos Brands for up to $610m.
It will be funded through existing cash and is expected to clear by the end of the year, subject to regulatory clearances.
Reynolds’ brand is one of the fastest growing within the premier gin segment in the US. In 2019, it grew volumes at over 100 per cent, adding the highest number of cases and contributing 40 per cent of super premium gin segment growth.
Under Reynolds the brand famously mocked the widely criticised Christmas advert for the exercise bike maker Peloton. The ad, entitled “The Gift That Gives Back” caused a storm last year, with many viewers claiming it was sexist.
The tongue-in-cheek ad for American Aviation Gin used the same actress in an ad entitled “The Gift That Doesn’t Give Back”.
The deal includes an initial payment of $335m and a further potential consideration of up to $275m based on the performance of Aviation American Gin’s over a ten-year period. It will also see Diageo own other brands in the Davos Brands’ including Astral Tequila, Sombra Mezcal and TYKU Sake. Reynolds will retain ownership interest in Aviation American Gin.
Reynolds said: “I want to thank Diageo for their incredible team and passion. We’re so excited for the next chapter of Aviation Gin, which, I promise, will require just as little reading.”
Debra Crew, President of Diageo North America added: “We believe Aviation American Gin will play an important role in building on the long term premiumisation trends in the United States.”
“The entrepreneurialism of the Davos team and Ryan Reynolds combined with Diageo’s strengths will help drive the continued momentum of the brand in North America and we feel confident that with Ryan’s global reach that Aviation Gin can expand internationally.”