Even though there have been better times in history for the champagne business, Jay-Z has sold a 50 percent stake in his Armand de Brignac champagne brand, reports CNN. Jay has recently reached a deal with luxury conglomerate LVMH, which also counts brands like Dom Pérignon and Moët & Chandon among its holdings, for an undisclosed sum.
The deal comes as LVMH has reportedly been trying to diversify its customer base after several public relations blunders and controversies. They recently announced that tennis star Naomi Osaka would be the new LVMH brand ambassador, and partnered with professional skateboarder Lucien Clark on a skate shoe and apparel collection.
The deal represents a culmination of Jay-Z's long relationship to the champagne business. He was famously a proponent of Cristal in his lyrics and his music videos, but in 2006 he stopped informally endorsing that brand after its parent company CEO made racist remarks disparaging the popularity of his own product among hip hop artists and fans. In Armand de Brignac, also known to the public as "Ace of Spades," he found a brand more deserving of his promotional accolades, and in 2014 he actually acquired it for his own. In a press statement, Jay-Z had this to say about his new partnership with LVMH:
"I'm proud to welcome the Arnault family into ours through this partnership that began with Alexandre Arnault and continued with his father Bernard Arnault and Philippe Schaus, at my home in Los Angeles. It is a partnership that has felt familiar the entire time. 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."
Under the terms of the agreement, LVMH will handle global distribution of Armand de Brignac champagne, but details on the precise nature of those terms haven't been made public as of yet.