Rande Gerber says he and his business partner George Clooney were stunned when they were offered a whopping $1 billion to sell the tequila company they started just four years ago — and never expected it to gain so much popularity.
“We never planned on starting a tequila company. You know, we made Casamigos just for us to drink,” Gerber said during a phone interview with Good Morning America on Thursday. “Once we did launch the company, we thought, ‘Hey, if we could sell a bottle or two, great. If not, at least we still get to drink our own tequila.'”
He added: “So, four years later when we’re offered a billion dollars to sell the company, yeah, we were kind of shocked.”
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In a statement to PEOPLE on Wednesday, Clooney confirmed that he, Gerber and real estate mogul Mike Meldman will sell the alcohol brand to the European beverage company Diageo for the large sum.
Diageo announced the news in a press release which reveals that the deal is expected to close in the second half of calendar 2017. Officials said that the deal could stand to bring in $10 million, in addition to the $1 billion.
The celebrity pals started Casamigos in 2013 “by accident” after failing to find the perfect tequila on vacation in Mexico.
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“I think the most important thing for us though is, we really love what we do, and we love what we made and we want to keep drinking it and keep the team together,” Gerber continued, adding that the trio will continue to run the company.
“George will keep his role … working on the marketing with me,” he said. “The great thing is we do everything in house so even though we were bought by Diageo … we’ll remain a standalone company. We’ll operate it as we have since day one.”
Much like everything else, Gerber said the taste of the tequila will remain the same and that they will “definitely not” change the formula.