On Monday, Aug 17, British alcoholic beverage company Diageo announced it purchased the popular Oregon-based gin brand, Aviation American Gin, from Davos Brands and world-renowned actor (and co-owner) Ryan Reynolds. According to CBS News, the deal was closed with a potential payout of up to $610 million—a payment of $335 million up front, with up to $275 million based on sales of the gin over the next 10 years. Following the deal, Diageo also stated that Reynolds and Davos would still maintain “an ongoing ownership interest.”
“A little over two years ago, I became an owner of Aviation Gin because I love the taste of Aviation more than any other spirit,” Reynolds said in the announcement on Diageo’s website. “What I didn’t expect was the sheer creative joy learning a new industry would bring. Growing the brand with my company, Maximum Effort Marketing, has been among the most fulfilling projects I’ve ever been involved with. 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.”
The deal also includes Astral Tequila, Sombra Mezcal, and TYKU Sake, all owned by Davos. Aviation American Gin builds upon Diageo’s impressive portfolio of spirits, which also includes Smirnoff, Tanqueray, and Johnnie Walker.
As the second-largest, fastest-growing brand in the premium gin segment in the U.S.—and with the creative direction from a mega-star like Reynolds—it’s no surprise why Diageo moved forward with this acquisition. Aviation American Gin was founded in 2006 in Portland by Ryan Magarian and Christian Krogstad. Their initial direction was aimed at producing American-made dry gin that had a smoother finish, and was lighter on the juniper flavor. Its popularity in the U.S. grew rapidly, and it was purchased by Davos Brands in 2016.
“We are delighted to announce this transaction, which supports our participation in the super premium gin segment in the United States,” stated the CEO of Diageo, Ivan Menezes. “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.”
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