The tequila company George Clooney started on a whim is now being sold for up to $1 billion

  • Posted 10 months Ago

After failing to find the "perfect" tequila, George Clooney and two of his friends (Rande Gerber and Michael Meldman) created their own - Casamigos. Now, four years on, the brand is reportedly being sold to Diageo for up to $1 billion.

"Casamigos really started by accident as far as a company," said Gerber when speaking to 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?"

The Casamigos tequila bottle and label design. Photo: Casamigos

After that Gerber and Clooney spent two years sampling hundreds of tequilas and visiting countless distillers until, finally, they had a drink that was perfectly smooth and didn't leave them feeling hungover.

Initially, they made it in quantities just big enough for their own consumption, but when they ramped up the order to around 1,000 bottles a year the distillery said they would need to get a licence. In 2013, Meldman joined the team, they found a distributor, and made it officially available to the public, but they've always tried to keep it accessible.

"George doesn't need the money. I didn't need it. Mike didn't need it," said Gerber to Business Insider. "It wasn't the reason behind launching a tequila. We wanted everyone to be able to drink it, and not be exclusive."

Since then, it's become one of the fastest growing tequila brands in the world and is now distributed across 20 countries. A 70cl bottle currently retails for around £55.

Top photo: Casamigos