Moët Hennessy toasts Jay-Z’s Armand de Brignac Champagne after buying 50% stake
French giant LVMH aims to ‘firmly cement’ the rapper’s ‘Ace of Spades’ brand as a luxury icon
Jay-Z has played a winning hand by selling a 50% stake of his so-called “Ace of Spades” luxury champagne brand to Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH).
The US music mogul - real name is Shawn Carter - has been an investor in the Champagne Armand de Brignac house since 2006 and bought out Sovereign Brands’ stake in the company in 2014. But now French luxury giant LVMH has splashed an undisclosed amount of cash to partner up with Jay-Z, whose brand sold more than 500,000 bottles in 2019.
The Paris-based multinational - which also owns champagne houses including Dom Perignon, Moët & Chandon and Veuve Clicquot - says the purchase and global distribution agreement will give Armand de Brignac “the commercial power it needs to grow and flourish even further”.
In a statement announcing the deal, Moët Hennessy boss Philippe Schaus said: “We are going into this partnership on equal terms together with Jay-Z and his family and with the same conviction that we are only at the beginning of a wonderful story.
“Together, we will lay a strong path forward to firmly cement Armand de Brignac as a luxury icon for current and future generations of customers.”
Bubbling over with bling
Ace of Spades “has a reputation as a party champagne” and has won fans worldwide after the brand’s “ostentatious, gold bottle” made a cameo appearance in Jay-Z’s 2006 music video for Show Me What You Got, says Decanter.
The bubbly is made by the Cattier family, which founded its champagne house in 1763, and “is believed to be the only one available in a 30-litre ‘Midas’ bottle”, the magazine reports.
Buyers need a large wallet to buy even the standard-sized bottles, with Armand de Brignac’s flagship Ace of Spades Gold Brut retailing at £250 a pop.
After sampling the range in 2016, Decanter’s then tasting director Christelle Guibert said: “If you put aside the bling bling packaging and the high price tags, the content of the bottles is actually quite impressive.”
More recently, the coronavirus pandemic has hit champagne sales, but “investing in bubbles makes sense” despite the slump, says Forbes. While “it might seem counterintuitive to focus on champagne during a pandemic”, the partnership between Jay-Z and LVMH “signals an optimism about the future of luxury consumption and the post-pandemic attitude of consumers”, according to the site.
Jay-Z is the latest entertainment star to celebrate success in the alcoholic drinks industry. Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds sold his stake in Aviation American Gin last August, when the brand was snapped up by drinks giant Diageo in a £460m deal.
The purchase marked Diageo’s fourth big tie-up with a celebrity-fronted alcohol business. The company also has partnerships with George Clooney (Casamigos tequila), Sean “Diddy” Combs (DeLeon tequila) and David Beckham (Haig Club Single Grain Scotch Whisky).