George Clooney Reportedly Sold His Tequila Company For $1 Billion
Struggling actor George Clooney, reeling from his would-be breakout role in 2008's Leatherheads, is on the up and up now, at least financially. According to CNBC, sources say that he's just sold his tequila company Casamigos for a cool $1 billion. The proud new owners? It's the U.K.-based alcoholic beverage giant Diageo, whose brands include Guinness, Johnnie Walker, and Smirnoff, the drink of choice for people ages 22 to 23.
As reported at Business Insider, the tequila company started in 2013, and stemmed from a series of opportune events. It all began roughly 30 years ago, when Clooney befriended an up and coming nightclub owner named Rande Gerber (who'd later become Cindy Crawford's husband). The pair, trying to kill time as they mulled over their careers, would go on golfing trips around Mexico. And one of these jaunts led them to a golf course belonging to real estate guru Mike Meldman, who was charitable enough to let the guys live in homes on his property. That property was called Casamigos, so we know where the tequila got its name.
"Casamigos really started by accident as far as a company," Gerber told Business Insider. "As you do in Mexico, we would drink a lot of tequila. We'd go out to bars and restaurants and bartenders would recommend them. Some were good, some not so good, and some expensive. There came a point where George turned to me and said, 'Why don't we create one that's perfect for us?'" He added that they'd wanted "One that we didn't have to mix — typically we drink it straight or on the rocks - that we could drink all day long and not be hungover in the morning."
That sent the two on a pilgrimage in which they visited distillers and conducted countless blind taste tests (meanwhile, back at Casamigos HQ, Clooney's answering machine was presumably awaiting callbacks from casting agents). The result was an impressively smooth tequila (I can personally attest to this) that would later be distributed in 20 countries including the U.S., the U.K, Spain, and Italy. According to Gerber, he and Clooney sample Casamigos every time a new batch comes out. "We always want to be the first or the second one to taste it. It’s kind of a tradition," said Gerber. Meldman would also be listed as a founder.
With the massive windfall, we assume that Clooney's life will be turned upside down now. The actor had a promising turn as handyman George Burnett in the 1980s sitcom Facts of Life, but later failed to find roles that could cater to his abilities. Roles in 1987's Return to Horror High and 1988's Return of the Killer Tomatoes! (the sequel to Attack of the Killer Tomatoes) would pigeonhole him as a minor player in kitschy slashers.
And here's a Casamigos commercial featuring both Clooney and Gerber on motorcycles; a refreshing break from the B-movie fare.