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08/18/2020

Diageo Picks Up Ryan Reynolds’ Spirits Brand

Lisa Johnston
Senior Editor
Lisa Johnston profile picture
Ryan Reynolds
Ryan Reynolds

Diageo will acquire Aviation Gin and Davos Brands in a potential $610 million cash deal.

The Aviation spirits brand is widely known for its celebrity co-owner, actor Ryan Reynolds, who will retain an ongoing ownership in the Aviation American Gin. Through this acquisition, Diageo, which is the No. 46 consumer goods company, is also acquiring the Astral Tequila, Sombra Mezcal and TYKU Sake brands in Davos’ portfolio.

The deal includes an initial payment of $335 million and up to an additional $275 million based on Aviation American Gin’s performance over the subsequent 10 years.  

Diageo is picking up the brands in order to bolster its presence in the U.S. super-premium gin market, a segment in which burgeoning Aviation American Gin is said to occupy the No. 2 spot. The company also cited IWSR figures positioning the super-premium category as the fastest-growing spirits segments 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,” said Diageo chief executive Ivan Menezes in a statement. “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.”

Debra Crew, Diageo North America president, echoed this, praising the entrepreneurialism of both Davos and Reynolds. Combining them “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,” she added.

The acquisition is expected to close before the end of 2020.

Diageo recently introduced a 100% plastic-free paper-based bottle for its Johnnie Walker brand.  

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