Moet Hennessy buys 50% stake in Jay-Z's Champagne brand

Moet Hennessy is acquiring a 50% stake in rapper and entrepreneur Jay-Z’s Champagne brand in an effort to up its cool factor and expand sales

Moet Hennessy is acquiring a 50% stake in rapper and entrepreneur Jay-Z’s Champagne brand in an effort to up its cool factor and expand distribution.

Terms of the deal, which was announced Monday, weren’t released.

Armand de Brignac, known familiarly as Ace of Spades because of its distinctive label, is produced in France's Champagne region by a father and son who are 12th and 13th generation wine growers.

Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, gave the brand a boost in 2006 when he featured one of their bottles in a music video after a public fallout with Cristal, a rival brand. Carter accused Cristal of racism after an executive for the brand mused in an interview about whether partnering with a rapper would harm its image.

In 2014, Carter bought Armand de Brignac for an undisclosed sum. The brand sold more than 500,000 bottles worldwide in 2019.

Moet Hennessy President and CEO Philippe Schaus said Armand de Brignac breaks barriers and reflects contemporary ideas of luxury, even as it supports historic Champagne-making traditions.

“We are incredibly proud to be partnering with them,” Schaus said.

Carter said the partnership will help Armand de Brignac grow and flourish, noting Moet Hennessy’s track record of developing luxury brands like Dom Perignon and Veuve Clicquot. Moet Hennessy is the wine and spirits division of luxury goods company LVMH.

“It is a partnership that has felt familiar the entire time,” Carter said.

Carter is one of several celebrities to profit from a partnership with an alcohol brand.

Actor George Clooney co-founded Casamigos, a tequila brand, in 2013. It was purchased by beverage giant Diageo in 2017 for $700 million. Last year, Diageo also scooped up Aviation American Gin, a brand co-owned by actor Ryan Reynolds, for $610 million.

Actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson recently released a tequila brand called Teramana. Singer John Legend has his own wine label, LVE. And in 2018, singer Bob Dylan launched the Heaven’s Door whiskey brand.