George Clooney & Rande Gerber sold their tequila company for $1 billion

Celebrities attend an event for Casamigos Tequila

When I drank, I used to enjoy tequila on occasion. But like a true peasant, I could never really taste a big difference between the cheap stuff and the high-quality stuff. Like, with vodka or whiskey, you can taste a massive difference between the $10 bottle and the $50 bottle. But tequila quality doesn’t change that much depending on the price, I’ve found. Like, the $50 bottle is probably a bit smoother, with less of an aftertaste, but cheap tequila is still pretty good if you have salt and limes. What’s my point? I’ve never really gotten on board the whole idea of George Clooney and Rande Gerber’s Casamigos tequila, which is supposed to be high-quality/whatever. Rande and George started Casamigos four years ago as a sort of pet project. The first commercial for the tequila starred Stacy Keibler and Cindy Crawford. George “promoted” the label by wearing Casamigos t-shirts everywhere. Skip ahead to this week, and Casamigos was just sold for $1 billion. WTF?

Looks like George Clooney is already setting up that college fund for his twins…Or maybe he’s just making a smart business decision! E! News can confirm the actor and his partners, Rande Gerber and Michael Meldman, sold their Casamigos tequila company for $1 billion to Diageo.

“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.”

Gerber also released a statement, saying, “We created Casamigos Tequila four years ago for us to drink personally and selling it for 1 billion dollars is something we never could have imagined. 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.”

CNBC reports that Diageo will initially pay Clooney and his partners $700 million with the potential for another $300 million that will be based on the tequila’s performance over the next 10 years. The transaction is expected to close during the second half of 2017.

The actor and his pals originally started Casamigos as a private tequila collection meant solely for their friends and family, which is how it got its name, roughly translating to “house of friends.” They made it public in 2013 after getting licensed to continue making it, and it took off, becoming the fastest growing ultra-premium tequila in the country, according to Gerber. Since its launch, Clooney and the company have hosted several major celebrity events, including Halloween and Coachella parties.

[From E! News]

If “starting your own liquor label” is the new “starting your own lifestyle website,” then I am here for it, honestly. I would much prefer to hear about celebrities doing side-projects that involve creating a liquor label. A billion-dollar liquor label! I’m honestly astounded that Casamigos is worth that much. I wonder what kind of profit-split there will be? Is George going to end up pocketing something like $300-400 million? Good God.

George Clooney filming 'Suburbicon'

Casmigos Tequila London Launch

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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48 Responses to “George Clooney & Rande Gerber sold their tequila company for $1 billion”

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  1. Alex says:

    At least with tequila they probably hired experts and such for the creation. Goop just believes her own hype as if she doesn’t have millions that help her live her lifestyle.
    I don’t have issues with celebs starting side companies but at least hire the people that KNOW what they are doing

  2. Plibersek says:

    Hmm. Now he’s a family man with hundreds of millions in the bank. The stars are aligning for a tilt at the presidency.

    • RBC says:

      George may be very vocal in his political views, but I just don’t see him running for public office. He has a family, fame, now lots more money and can pretty much do what he wants. Also once you become a politician the media will do a lot more digging into your personal life. Everyone has secrets, as a very popular actor you can be sure the news media would want to know everything about George whether he wants to or not.

    • Ramona says:

      I also think he is going to run for something just not president yet. I think he will go the Reagan route actually, Governor first. And he should. God knows none of the current Dems are causing Obama level excitement which is what we now need to win elections. A sprinkle of celebrity could tip that balance.

      • Sabrine says:

        I read yesterday George gets around $233 Million in the Casimingos deal, so not too shabby. I doubt he has any plans whatsoever to run for any kind of political office. He’s enjoy his life too much.

    • notasugarhere says:

      Difficult for him to run for elected office in the US when he spends much of his time living in Italy and the UK now.

    • What's Inside says:

      I was thinking the same thing.

    • Jeesie says:

      I really don’t think he wants to get into politics in a big way. He loves filmaking, he loves his lifestyle, he loves travelling.

      I could see him taking a run at something like California governer down the line if opportunities to act and direct dry up, but President? Or even Senator? He’d have to change so much about the way he lives, and at the moment he’s actually leaning into living overseas more than ever before.

    • Cookie says:

      I also think he has pol ambitions. George, don’t run for office. You’re bad PR for the left. Celeb popularity isn’t the same as ability to mobilise the people on real ideas.

  3. Honey says:

    I sure wish I had something to sell for a billion dollars! I’ve never drank and never heard of this brand. It must be really special for someone to buy it for all that money

  4. Fa says:

    It is 700 million and shares between three people meaning 233 millions each, the rest in 10 years.

    • Ramona says:

      It says 1 billion in total in the article. Not that it matters, $233 million from a hobby project is more than excellent return.

      • Fa says:

        Read again depends on performance of the product, meaning 700 millions is guarantee but not the 300 millions and I am not disputing the return.

    • Erica_V says:

      That’s assuming they are all equal partners tho – it doesn’t mention anywhere the breakout. If George is a majority owner he’d be entitled to more.

  5. Jen says:

    It’s actually really good! The blanco has become my go to if I’m having a cocktail. It’s extremely smooth with none of that after taste.

  6. Manjit says:

    Good luck to them. It makes a change to see celebs making money from something they look like they truly enjoy themselves.

  7. InVain says:

    I find there to be a really big difference between the cheap and pricier tequilas, but it’s my liquor of choice. It’s a personal preference at the end of the day, but I have my favorite brands (based on taste/flavor) for sure. I’ve noticed in the past year that Casamigos is EVERYWHERE. In a lot of bars (where I am) they are just as likely to have it among their 2-5 tequila offerings as more recognizable brands. I think they really perfected the marketing of the brand for one, and two, it’s actually a really nice quality booze. It’s presented nicely, and again, at the bars around me the label is plastered everywhere.

    The $1B pricetag sort of surprised me…but not so much when you really think about it. Congrats to George + his partners.

    • detritus says:

      I rarely drink now, but when I do its tequila drinks or ceasars.

      Theres a HUGE difference in bottom of the barrel tequila and quality stuff. A good tequila doesn’t have that harshness and bite, and the flavor is better. I think my favorite to this day is a Tres Generaciones Anejo.

      For newbies to tequila, resposado is lightly aged (rested), anejo is aged. If you get a cheap tequila make sure its blanco, or clear, because if it isn’t aged the colour comes from additives.

      • InVain says:

        YES to the color info detritus. Also, there are a lot of liquors out there masquerading as “tequila” that are not 100% agave.

      • detritus says:

        Do you have any brands you’d recommend?
        Tequila in Canada is expensive and limited in variety, but when we get lucky enough to travel we pick it up in the States or Mexico.

      • InVain says:

        Don Julio has been a personal fave for years, but if you haven’t tried Casamigos, I recommend it. I think the reposado is the best. If you’re looking to make cocktails, I usually go cheaper… Hornitos blanco or reposado are great for mixed drinks. Never been a fan of Patron. I used to be a big Corzo fan, but have since moved on, but would still recommend. Avion isn’t bad either. Experiment with a few new-to-you and see how it goes! It truly is all about flavor and personal preference. But I think tequila gets a bad rap because the cheaper stuff is so… yuck.

    • LaLa says:

      Many brands that are sold outside of Mexico are ether fake or really low quality tequila. When I travel I see brands I’d never even seen before and they’re awful. Casamigos doesn’t dare to show its face in Mexico much, which tells me all I need to know about its quality and the kind of audience they’re aiming for. Good marketing, though.

      And InVain, I’m also a fan of Don Julio. There’s a special edition 1942 line that smells of vanilla and has the sweetest after-taste. It’s exquisite. Best tequila I’ve had so far. I drink it on a cognac glass to really get the scent. Not for mixing, obvs.

      • InVain says:

        LaLa, you’re right about the non-Mexican sold tequilas, but unfortunately, I’ve never been so I have to go based on what I find and like in the States. I do think Casamigos is good tequila, but again, for here… and I’ve been introduced to the 1942 but have never bought a bottle!! On my list for an event worth celebrating! Thanks!

      • Des says:

        IIRC they developed this tequila with Mexican experts in spite of the marketing which makes it sound like they were making it in bathtubs in their estate in Cabo. I love the Don Julio (my Mexican friend gave me a bottle for my birthday one year and it was the best!) but Casamigos was pretty smooth too.

  8. Caroline says:

    I’m not a tequila drinker but those who are know the difference. Some can be as good as really good scotch, I’m told.

    However this is a HUGE price that Diageo paid, something like 10x sales (that’s a lot for anything let alone a consumer product like booze). I’d say the reason they got so much is because George agreed to stay on as a brand ambassador since the only reason it found traction is his association with it.

    • Christin says:

      It does seem to imply that both guys will be working to promote it. Hence the extra 300 million (bonus?), if sales are good. I don’t think this is a billion and go home type deal.

      Cue photos of babies in branded onesies.

  9. Miss M says:

    I am not into tequila. But congrats to them on the success of casamigos!it is always great when you have a profitable investment.

  10. Tiffany says:

    So Cindy finally told Rande to bring some money in. Good return on this one for all parties involved.

  11. Lolafalana says:

    I’m just so glad things are finally working out for the guy! George Clooney – things are finally going your way!

  12. lucy2 says:

    Wow. A lot of people made fun of him for always wearing the shirts, but he’s laughing all the way to the bank now.
    Hope he does something good with some of the money.

  13. justwastingtime says:

    I am no Tequila expert so I will let others judge the quality. He does have a nice house in Cabo (which I saw when visiting a well off friend with a house in the same community) so presumably he spends time in Mexico. Whether that time is spent working on the brand or sunning on the beach is unknown.

  14. Sarah says:

    Great. Now all that’s left to do is for George’s “marriage” to turn to shit, subsequently leading up to divorce and gives Amal primary custody of the kids, re-purchasing that vacation home in Cabo of his that was sold or getting one in Cabo that’s up for sale, regains his senses to a point where he’s that lifelong bachelor that we all know and love(and hopefully learns to laugh at himself more, frankly, and learns to not take issue with female comedians ripping him on his love/sex life. This also means that he admits that he only got married to get back at Tina and Amy for their joke at the Golden Globes, ego made him take it too far to the point where he wound up being a dad to twins.)who shies away from marriage for a 3rd time or at the very least pursues an open marriage if he’s hell bent on that charming 3rd time down the aisle.