Jay-Z and luxury conglomerate LVMH announced a major partnership on Monday.
According to The New York Times, the rapper turned entertainment mogul sold 50% of his high-end champagne brand, Armand de Brignac, also known as Ace of Spades, to the French organization.
Jay-Z called the alliance an “investment,” according to The Wall Street Journal. Neither side has disclosed the terms of the deal.
The rapper’s goal was to take advantage of LVMH’s global distribution and access its resources in the champagne industry.
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The publication reported that the partnership occurred as the champagne business took a financial hit due to the pandemic. Sales have dropped about 20% amid canceled weddings and other celebrations.
The pandemic didn’t stop Jay-Z’s vision, though. The 51-year-old mogul expressed how the brand’s exponential growth warranted the decision.
“We were working really hard to maintain a brand that was growing faster than the staff we had and bigger than some of the expertise we had,” he told WSJ. “We’d been in this 15 years, not a hundred.”
The European luxury conglomerate, which houses 75 iconic brands, including Moët and Chandon, Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Hennessy, Fendi, Celine and Givenchy, is excited about the new venture with Jay-Z.
“We had been following its success over the last few years, and we thought, this is crazy. Most Champagne brands see very modest growth, and he was just shooting up through the ranks,” said Philippe Schaus, chief executive officer of Moët Hennessy, in an interview with WWD.
“We tasted the Champagne, and we said, yes, there is something to be done together,” he continued.
“We are already global leaders with our prestige Champagne brands—Dom Pérignon, Krug and the prestige cuvées of Veuve Clicquot and Ruinart—but Armand de Brignac has created another niche and in some respects revolutionized the prestige category, so we wanted to be part of that. They opened Champagne to a new clientele, so in that sense, it’s a great complement to our portfolio.”
Although there are numerous Black-owned wine companies throughout the globe, there are only five Black-owned champagne brands, according to Wine Enthusiast Magazine.