In 2012, Jay-Z partnered with liquor behemoth Bacardi to launch a cognac brand called “D’Ussé.” The brand would grow to hit a $3 billion valuation, making it one of the most expensive brands in the world.
Per the partnership arrangement, Jay-Z handled marketing, while Bacardi handled production and distribution. Face2face Africa previously reported that the deal was anchored on an equal stake and a global distribution agreement.
However, the two parties got involved in a legal feud after Jay-Z opted for a buyout over concerns that Bacardi subsidiary, Empire Investments Inc., was mismanaging the brand by failing to meet growing consumer demands. The firm oversees the cognac’s day-to-day operations.
Barcadi offered to pay $500 million for Jay-Z’s shares while the rapper made a counteroffer of $1.5 billion for its own stake. The billionaire rapper eventually took the matter to court after Barcadi won several rounds of arbitration.
According to Bloomberg Law, Jay-Z and his partners have resolved their dispute over their multibillion-dollar cognac joint venture, D’Usse. A statement announcing the settlement said the rapper has sold his controlling stake in the D’USSÉ Cognac brand for $750 million.
An affiliate of Barcadi bought Jay-Z’s 50% stake in the cognac company, giving Bacardi ownership of 75.01% of the rest of the business. The statement further adds that the music mogul will retain “a significant ownership stake” through his company, SCLiquor LLC. He called the business “a blessing” in a statement, touting its growth. “I am excited to renew this partnership with Bacardi,” he said.
The musician-turned-entrepreneur has a net worth of $1.4 billion, per Forbes estimates. With the $750 million hitting his account, his net worth is inching closer to $2 billion.
Jay-Z, born Shawn Carter in 1969, has made a name for himself as one of the best rappers in the world who is unearthing music talents. While still active in music, he ventured into entrepreneurship through the launch of multiple business and startup investments.
His move into entrepreneurship paid off as a series of deals by the rapper saw his net worth increase by 40 percent, according to the latest valuation of his assets. For instance, he sold more than half of his stake in Tidal video and audio streaming services to Square, a digital payment platform run by Jack Dorsey.
Square paid a mix of cash and stock at the value of $297 million and Tidal’s superstar shareholders, including Beyoncé, Madonna, and Rihanna remained in place, making them the second-largest co-owners.
Prior to that, he sold half of his Champagne brand, Armand de Brignac, to Moët Hennessy, the luxury wines and spirits division of luxury giant LVMH. The acquisition was through a partnership with the rap legend which is anchored on an equal stake and a global distribution agreement.
According to Forbes, the two deals increased Jay-Z’s fortune to $1.4 billion, up from $1 billion. Meanwhile, the billionaire rapper still has a 50% stake in Armand de Brignac, D’Usse cognac insurance startup Ethos, and salad chain Sweetgreen, Forbes adds.
Jay-Z also has holdings in Uber, SpaceX, and now Square. He has shares in Oatmilk company, Oatly, which is expected to IPO this year for a $10 billion evaluation.