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George Clooney Accidentally Started A Tequila Company And Sold It For $1 Billion

First Posted: Jun 21, 2017 02:57 PM EDT
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George Clooney, Matt Damon and other celebs on the US election
What started out as a private hobby, became big business for George Clooney.

Photo : Getty Images

Actor and human rights activist George Clooney has sold his one-third stake in his Casamigos tequila company for a reported $1 billion.

Diageo Plc agreed to acquire fast-growing tequila brand, co-founded four years ago by Clooney and business partners Michael Meldman and Rande Gerber. The creation of the brand wasn't a calculated move and only came about when the men were constructing summer houses in Cabo San Lucas.

"As you do when you're in Mexico, you drink a lot of tequila," Gerber told CNBC. "After a couple of months trying a lot of different tequilas, George turned to me and said, 'Why don't we just make our own? One that's perfect for us to drink?'"

 Casa in Cannes. #repost @maisonvalentino #GeorgeClooney #cannes #TBT

A post shared by Casamigos Tequila (@casamigos) on May 18, 2017 at 1:00pm PDT

After talking with distillers in the Jalisco area, the trio began making their own tequila for private sharing amongst their family and friends until their personal demand for over 1,000 bottles a year prompted a conversation about taking the company public in 2013. "It immediately took off," continued Gerber. "Right now, we're the fastest growing ultra-premium tequila in the country."

OK, the mullet is questionable but the man knows his tequila. #CasamigosCelebrates A post shared by Casamigos Tequila (@casamigos) on May 6, 2017 at 1:00pm PDT


The sale to Diageo expands the London-based distiller’s lineup in a rapidly expanding category, where it already owns numerous world renowned alcohol brands.

Clooney has been smart with his money in the past, parlaying his profits from Nescafe ads into funding a spy satellite dedicated to uncovering human rights abuses. He'll need the extra diaper money, after recently becoming a father to twins with his wife, human rights lawyer Amal Clooney.

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