Diageo is paying up to $610m for Aviation American Gin, co-owned by Hollywood actor Ryan Reynolds, and a clutch of other spirits brands, adding to a gin portfolio which already includes Tanqueray and Gordon's.
Diageo is not new to acquiring brands linked to Hollywood celebrities, having in 2017 paid $1 billion to acquire the super premium tequila brand Casamigos co-founded by "Ocean's Eleven" star George Clooney.
It also teamed up with up with music producer and rapper Sean "Diddy" Combs to sell Ciroc vodka in 2007.
Reynolds acquired an unspecified minority stake in Aviation Gin in 2018 and since then the brand had thrived, Diageo, the world's largest spirits maker, said.
Diageo, which also owns Guinness, said Reynolds would retain his interest in Aviation American Gin.
The deal comes at a time when consumption of gin has been rising in the US. According to the Distilled Spirits Council, distillers sold nearly 10 million nine-litre cases of gin in the US in 2019, generating $918m in revenue, a 3% rise over 2018.
Most of this growth was driven by the super-premium gin category where bottles cost $25 and upwards.
Aviation American Gin is the second-largest super-premium gin brand in the US, growing volumes at over 100% in 2019 and contributed 40% of super-premium gin category growth in the country, Diageo said, citing industry tracker IWSR.
Diageo is paying up to $610m for Aviation Gin and Davos Brands, whose portfolio also includes Astral Tequila, Sombra Mezcal and TYKU Sake.
Diageo's acquisition comes just two weeks after the maker of Johnnie Walker whisky and Smirnoff vodka said yearly profit had nearly halved as widespread closures of pubs and restaurants, cancellation of sporting events and a plunge in duty free purchases hit global demand.
It also took a £1.3 billion charge on some slow-selling brands.