Rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs teams up with UK drinks giant Diageo to buy luxury tequila brand DeLeon

Rapper turned entrepreneur Sean “Diddy” Combs has teamed up with British drinks giant Diageo, to buy Hollywood’s favourite tequila brand DeLeón.

Combs and Diageo were already amigos in the drinks industry after the Bad Boy Records star and the British company got together to promote Diageo’s upmarket Cîroc vodka, which helped boost sales from 50,000 cases a year in 2007, to 2m annually.

Speaking about his latest venture, Combs, who has gone by various sobriquets in the past including Puff Daddy, P. Diddy and Diddy, said: “With Cîroc, we dated. Now with DeLeón, we’re married. This deal is way better. This makes me a true owner.”

Diageo and Combs will each take a 50% stake in the brand, which sells “ultra-premium” vodka that retails at around $1000 (£608) a bottle, or $90 (£55) a shot.

Larry Schwartz, Diageo’s north America president, said: “Expanding our relationship with Sean Combs into tequila was a natural choice given Sean’s ability to galvanise support for luxury brands, as we’ve seen with our work together on Cîroc.

“Sean was exposed to DeLeón in the world of entertainment. He loved the packaging, thought it was the ultimate lifestyle accessory and fell in love with the product,” Schwartz added.

Diageo also owns Smirnoff vodka and Johnnie Walker Scotch. But the brand was forced to say adiós to the Jose Cuervo tequila brand earlier this year after talks to acquire it from the Beckmann family were abandoned.

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