Ryan Reynolds-backed Aviation American gin bought in blockbuster £460m deal

Food & Drink | International | Latest News | Mergers & Acquisitions
Aviation American – Ryan Reynolds

Global beverage distribution firm Diageo has today announced that it has reached agreement to acquire Aviation American Gin – the alcoholic drink brand famously backed by Hollywood superstar Ryan Reynolds.

Aviation American Gin is an American style gin crafted with a blend of botanicals, with subtle juniper notes, delivering a smooth balanced flavour profile.

The brand has thrived under the leadership of its majority owner, Davos Brands, and the creative direction of co-owner Ryan Reynolds, who will retain an ongoing ownership interest in Aviation American Gin. Through this acquisition, Diageo is also acquiring the other brands in the Davos Brands’ portfolio consisting of Astral Tequila, Sombra Mezcal and TYKU Sake.

The total consideration is up to c.£460m, which includes an initial payment of c.£300m and a further potential consideration of up to £260m based on the performance of Aviation American Gin over a 10-year period.

Ivan Menezes, Chief Executive of Diageo, said: “We are delighted to announce this transaction, which supports our participation in the super premium gin segment 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. 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.”

Ryan Reynolds commented: “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.  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.”

Aviation American Gin is the second-largest and one of the fastest-growing brands within the super-premium gin segment in the United States. In 2019, it grew volumes at over 100%, adding the highest number of cases and contributing 40% of super premium gin segment growth. The brand is well positioned to continue recruiting consumers into gin with its accessible flavour profile and American provenance.

Davos Brands, founded in 2014, specialises in identifying key trends and early stage brands as well as creating and executing sales and marketing strategies for high growth brands in high growth categories.  The acquisition of Davos Brands also provides the opportunity to further develop the other brands in the portfolio by benefiting from Diageo’s expertise.

Andrew T. Chrisomalis, Co-Founder and CEO of Davos Brands, commented: “Brands are an evolution, reflecting the vision and values of their founders, sculptors and stewards.  Extraordinary partnership and teamwork brought us here, and with the continued creative genius of Ryan Reynolds, and this new, best in class global partnership with Diageo, the sky is truly the limit for Aviation American Gin and Davos Brands.”

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