George Clooney Just Made $1 Billion on Tequila
If you've been crossing your fingers that hard-up ol' George Clooney would finally catch a break, you'll be happy to hear that his ship has finally come in. The actor's tequila company Casamigos was just purchased by the alcohol conglomerate Diageo -- the parent company of massive brands like Guinness, Tanqueray, and Smirnoff -- for an astonishing $1 billion. Have to imagine Clooney's pouring himself some reposado over ice to celebrate right now.
If this is the first time you're hearing George Clooney owned a tequila company, you're not alone. He kept a fairly low profile about his association with Casamigos, which he started with co-owners and good friends Rande Gerber, an ultra-successful nightlife guru, and Michael Meldman, a real estate mogul. Initially, the company began as a super-private venture out of an interest to create a collection of top-notch tequilas just for the owners and their friends, but they decided to spin it off into a legitimate brand in 2013. Since then, it's been phenomenally successful, and is in fact the fastest-growing ultra-premium tequila on the market today, according to Gerber.
Today the company announced that it's being purchased by Diageo for as much as $1 billion. The deal is expected to close during the end of the year, with the multinational corporation shelling out $700 million up front and the potential to pay out an additional $300 million based on the brand's performance over the next decade.
In a statement to CNBC, Clooney says it's as surprising to him as it may be to the rest of us, but he's not ditching the pet project. "If you asked us four years ago if we had a billion dollar company, I don't think we would have said yes," he said. "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." Considering this deal will potentially net him and his partners more than 52 times his average annual salary (which at $19 million, is already insane), you better believe there will be shots.
Hot on the heels of yet another surprising billion dollar acquisition that got people talking, the Internet has a few thoughts on the news of the A-list actor's big payday. Scroll down to see how some people have reacted on Twitter.