Updated: March 1, 5:00 p.m.
Moët Hennessy has acquired a 50 percent stake in Champagne house Armand de Brignac, making the international luxury giant an equal partner with musician and entrepreneur Jay-Z. Moët Hennessy revealed that it would take over global distribution for the Champagne brand following the completion of the transaction. Neither side would disclose the purchase price.
Jay-Z purchased the label in 2014 from its then-importer, Sovereign Brands. He first acquired a stake in 2006. Also known as “Ace of Spades” for the distinctive pewter spade icon that adorns the front of each bottle, the Champagne lineup includes five different bottlings, with pricing starting at $300 a bottle.
“The strength of the Armand de Brignac brand and quality of its range of prestige cuvées will allow us to take the business to new heights across the world,” said Philippe Schaus, president and CEO of Moët Hennessy. Armand de Brignac has total volume of about 40,000 cases, according to Shanken News Daily, a sister publication of Wine Spectator.
“We are confident that the sheer power of the Moët Hennessy global distribution framework, its unparalleled portfolio strength, and its long-established track record of excellence in developing luxury brands will give Armand de Brignac the commercial power it needs to grow and flourish even further,” said Jay-Z.
The small, family-owned Champagne house Champagne Cattier will continue to produce the Armand de Brignac label, under a “long-term contract of cooperation between Champagne Cattier, which produces the Champagne Armand de Brignac, and the company Armand de Brignac in New York, that distributes the brand,” said Alexandre Cattier, 13th-generation Champagne grower and company president. “Champagne Cattier is not impacted by this transaction. We remain a family house, 100 percent independent.”
Moët Hennessy’s representation and distribution of 24 different wine estates includes Moët & Chandon and Veuve Clicquot, the United States’ leaders in the Champagne market accounting for roughly 60 percent of annual case depletions, as well as luxury brands Dom Pérignon, Krug and Ruinart.