George Clooney, partners sell tequila company in $1 billion deal

Add a billion-dollar corporate deal to George Clooney's résumé.  

Diageo, a British maker of alcoholic beverages, agreed Wednesday to buy Casamigos in an acquisition that could value the U.S. tequila maker at as much as $1 billion.

Founded by Clooney, businessman Rande Gerber and developer Mike Meldman in 2013, Casamigos sold 120,000 cases in 2016, primarily in the United States, and is on track to sell 170,000 this year, Diageo said. Each case contains 12 bottles. 

The valuation includes $700 million of "initial consideration" and "a further potential $300 million" based on earnings performance over the next 10 years, Diageo said in a statement.

Casamigos couldn't be reached for comment. 

The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2017. 

Diageo, whose brands include Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal and Guinness, has been expanding its tequila business, one of the fastest-growing categories in alcoholic beverages. 

Tequila sales in the United States grew 7.4% in 2016, reaching an all-time high of 16.3 million cases, according to data from industry research firm IWSR.

© 2017 USATODAY.COM


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