LVMH buys a 50% stake in Jay-Z’s Champagne brand

LVMH, which owns Dom Pérignon and Moët & Chandon, has acquired a 50% stake in Jay-Z’s champagne brand, Armand de Brignac, also known as “Ace of Spades.” Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

LVMH recently revealed tennis champion Naomi Osaka as its new brand ambassador. During the US Open, Osaka was praised for supporting the Black Lives Matter protests that began over the summer. He has also collaborated with skateboarder Lucien Clark on clothing and a skate shoe.
And a few years ago, he teamed up with singer Rihanna at Fenty Fashion House, making her the first black woman to lead an original brand with LVMH. Fenty Fashion House was recently discontinued. But LVMH said it will continue to support other elements of the Fenty empire, focusing on “the long-term growth and development” of the Fenty Beauty and Fenty Skin beauty and skincare lines, as well as the Savage X Fenty lingerie line, which just raised $ 115 million to help you expand into retail.

“LVMH is a brand that has quite broad appeal. It serves many different markets,” said Neil Saunders, retail industry analyst and managing director of GlobalData. By diversifying your marketing efforts and expanding your portfolio, you can help reach “audiences that are very important, but perhaps have traditionally been underrepresented in luxury,” he said. The Jay-Z partnership “certainly helps as part of that effort.”

The deal comes in the wake of a difficult year for Champagne as sales fell due to canceled celebrations and restrictions on indoor dining during the coronavirus pandemic. Champagne shipments fell 18% in 2020 compared to 2019, according to CIVC, a champagne trade group. At LVMH, champagne volumes fell 19% in 2020, the company said in January.

“For years we have been following the fantastic success of Armand de Brignac and admiring his ability to defy some of the rules of the Champagne category,” said Philippe Schaus, president and CEO of Moet Hennessy, in a statement Monday. “Armand de Brignac breaks barriers and reflects contemporary luxury”.

Shawn Carter, who calls himself Jay-Z, has always been interested in Champagne. He used to defend Cristal, but began a boycott of the brand in 2006 after the director of the company that makes Champagne, Frederic Rouzaud, made disparaging comments about its popularity in the hip-hop community. “What can we do? We can’t stop people from buying it,” Rouzaud told The Economist at the time.

Instead of Cristal, Jay-Z turned his attention to Armand de Brignac. He featured the signature “Ace of Spades” bottle in a 2006 music video. Five years later, the drink was the “champagne toast of choice” at Kim Kardashian’s wedding to Kris Humphries. Jay-Z acquired the brand in 2014.

LVMH’s distribution force and its experience in developing luxury brands “will give Armand de Brignac the commercial power it needs to grow and prosper even more,” Jay-Z said in a statement Monday.

– CNN’s Leah Dolan and Allyssia Alleyne contributed to this report.


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