Diageo Is Buying Aviation Gin, Will Keep Ryan Reynolds as Co-Owner

The Deadpool star updated his out-of-office reply to reflect the news

Ryan Reynolds bought a stake in Aviation Gin in February 2018. Aviation Gin
Headshot of Kathryn Lundstrom


Diageo announced today that it will acquire Aviation American Gin and its parent company, Davos Brands, for up to $610 million. Ryan Reynolds will stay on as co-owner of Aviation and continue to lend his creative direction to the brand’s marketing strategy.

The agreed-upon price tag includes an initial $335 million and further potential consideration of $275 million based on Aviation’s performance over the next 10 years.

Diageo CEO Ivan Menezes said in a statement that the acquisition is “in line with our strategy to acquire high growth brands with attractive margins that support premiumisation.”

“We are confident that Aviation American Gin will continue to shape and drive the growth of super premium gin in North America, and we are looking forward to working with Ryan Reynolds and the Davos Brands team to accelerate future growth,” Menezes added.

The category is looking good for Aviation. According to the International Wine and Spirits Record, the super premium segment doubled its share of the gin category between 2014 and 2019, growing at a compound annual rate of 18.5%—making it the fastest growing spirits segment in the United States.

“Growing [Aviation Gin] with my company, Maximum Effort Marketing, has been among the most fulfilling projects I’ve ever been involved with,” said Reynolds in a statement. “We’re so excited for the next chapter of Aviation Gin, which, I promise, will require just as little reading.”

Since buying a stake in the company in February 2018, the Deadpool star has infused Aviation with his signature brand of self-deprecating and ironic absurdity. From advertising his own tears as an ingredient in the spirit to ads that brilliantly capitalize on cultural moments like the Peloton wife and the Fyre Festival, he’s certainly established a fan club in the world of marketing.

Reynolds also updated his out-of-office email after the acquisition news was released, sharing with his correspondents some new terminology he learned throughout the process.

“I just learned what an ‘earn out’ is,” the OOO reply reads. “And I’d like to take this opportunity to apologize to everyone I told to go fuck themselves in the last 24 hours. My lawyers just explained how long it takes to achieve an ‘earn out’… so… turns out I’m not as George Clooney as I thought. The point is, to those listed below, I’m sorry … and I’ll indeed be needing your help in the coming months and years. Thanks in advance!”

The following 18-point list includes Betty White, Calisthenics, The Rock, Soothing Lavender Eye Pillows and several other objects and people.

In addition to Aviation, Diageo will also acquire Astral Tequila, Sombra Mezcal and TYKU Sake from Davos Brands as part of the deal.


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@klundster kathryn.lundstrom@adweek.com Kathryn Lundstrom is Adweek's breaking news reporter based in Austin.
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