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

Luxury giant LVMH has teamed up with Jay-Z to expand the champagne house.

The 51-year-old musician and entrepreneur announced on Monday that he had sold half of his champagne company to Moët Hennessy for an undisclosed price.

Moet Hennessy is the wine and spirits division of luxury goods company LVMH.

Armand de Brignac, known 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.

The agreement comes as champagne sales contracted sharply last year after the coronavirus pandemic shut down nightclubs and restaurants globally. Volumes were down 18 per cent to 245m bottles in 2020, while revenue contracted almost a quarter to €4bn, according to the trade group, Comité interprofessionnel du vin de Champagne.

The deal caps a successful run for Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, with Armand de Brignac, who touted the bottles in a 2006 music video before acquiring the company in 2014. 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.

Schaus said Jay-Z’s involvement will help broaden the appeal of champagne. “They(Armand de Brignac), have disrupted the category and opened it up to a new market,” he added. Jay-Z 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. Carter is not the only businessman/ celebrity to profit from a partnership with an alcohol brand. Rapper Sean Combs has also backed Cîroc vodka and jointly invested in premium tequila brand DeLeón with Diageo. Actor George Clooney, who co-founded Casamigos a tequila brand, in 2013, sold it to Diageo in 2017 for $700 million. Last year, Diageo also purchased Aviation American Gin, a brand co-owned by actor Ryan Reynolds, for $610 million.