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[LONDON] Diageo, the British maker of alcoholic drinks, said Wednesday it had agreed to buy Casamigos, an upscale tequila brand co-founded by Hollywood star George Clooney, in a deal worth up to US$1 billion.
"This is an exciting opportunity for Diageo to strengthen its participation in the fast growing tequila category, as well as expand the brand internationally," the company said in a statement.
It called Casamigos the fastest-growing super-premium tequila brand in the United States.
Casamigos has won numerous awards since it was created in 2013 by Clooney and two friends, and sales have climbed fast.
The tequila has promoted itself as "made by friends for friends", and the founders plan to stay involved.
"Casamigos has always been brought to you by those who drink it and we look forward to continuing that, working alongside the expertise and global reach of Diageo," said Casamigos Tequila Co-founder Rande Gerber.
Diageo said the deal includes an initial consideration of US$700 million and up to another US$300 million depending on performance over 10 years.