Diageo forms new joint venture with rap star Combs

Associated Press

LONDON (AP) — Premium drinks company Diageo has formed a new joint venture with rap star Sean "Diddy" Combs and has bought the prestige tequila brand DeLeon.

The 50/50 partnership between Diageo and Combs Wine & Spirits allows the brand to take advantage of Diageo's distribution network, together with Combs' star power in marketing luxury brands. DeLeon has variants of tequila, which have suggested retail prices ranging from $120 to over $1,000.

In a statement Wednesday, Combs says DeLeon appeals to "those who love exceptional tequila in a distinctive bottle."

Diageo also has a separate "strategic alliance" with Combs Enterprises to develop and grow the ultra-premium vodka brand, Ciroc. The alliance began in 2007, and has grown from 50,000 cases a year to nearly 2 million cases.

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