Ryan Reynolds, George Clooney and More Stars Who Have Made Big Money in the Liquor Business
Ryan Reynolds recently sold his Aviation American Gin in a deal worth an estimated $610 million
The Deadpool star, 43, who was the creative director and the co-owner of the brand alongside majority owner Davos Brands, will continue to have an ongoing ownership interest with Aviation Gin despite its sale.
In the wake of news of the massive acquisition, Reynolds set up his email at the company with a hilarious out of office message in which he apologizes to a long list of people —including wife Blake Lively — for jokingly telling them "to go f— themselves in the last 24 hours" after learning how much money he would make in the sale.
"Thanks for your email. I am currently out of the office but will still be very hard at work selling Aviation Gin. For quite a long time, it seems," his auto-response read.
Reynolds, however, is not the first star to earn big money in the alcohol business. Read on to learn about the other celebs who sold their liquor brands.
The two stars, along with their partner, real estate mogul Mike Meldman, sold the alcohol brand to Diageo — the same company that purchased Reynolds’ Aviation Gin — for a whopping $1 billion.
“If you asked us four years ago if we had a billion dollar company, I don’t think we would have said yes,” Clooney said in a statement to PEOPLE at the time. “This reflects Diageo’s belief in our company and our belief in Diageo. But we’re not going anywhere. We’ll still be very much a part of Casamigos. Starting with a shot tonight. Maybe two.”
Former Real Housewives of New York City star Bethenny Frankel founded her company, Skinnygirl, with the creation of her famed pre-packaged Skinnygirl Margarita in 2009.
Two years later, she made $100 million by selling Skinnygirl Cocktails to Fortune Brands’ Beam Global (now a part of Suntory), but she maintained the rights to the brand name.
In 2019, she revealed during an episode of RHONY that she was ready to sell part of the Skinnygirl company, though it was never confirmed whether she went through with the sale.
At the time, she said the deal would likely leave her with creative control and allow her to maintain her position as the face of the empire while also handing off the business dealings to someone who could “build a brand to a stratosphere that I don’t even understand.”
In 2007, former Van Halen star Sammy Hagar sold 80 percent of his Cabo Wabo tequila business to an Italian spirits company, Gruppo Campari, for $80 million.
Since then, Hagar has remained passionate about the alcohol business, launching Santo Liquor in 2017 alongside Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine. Santo is the world’s first mezquila, a combination of tequila and mezcal that Hagar said creates “a higher spirit.”
“Getting involved with Adam is strictly passion—this wasn’t a business deal,” Hagar told reporters at the launch event for Santo Mezquila. “He said he wanted to get in the tequila business and we, as friends, did this together.”
Hagar also has a rum line, Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum, which he first released in 2011 but relaunched earlier this year with fellow musician Rick Springfield as a partner.