Back in 2012, Jay-Z launched a cognac brand called "D'Ussé" as a partnership with liquor behemoth Bacardi. For the next decade it was a great partnership. Jay handled marketing. Bacardi handled production and distribution. And since this was Jay-Z, it wasn't a lopsided partnership with the huge liquor conglomerate owning 95% and the celebrity doing all the work for a sliver. It was a perfectly equal 50/50 joint venture.
Unfortunately, that decade of prosperity ended in late 2022 with a flurry of lawsuits. The lawsuits centered around the overall valuation of D'Ussé. Bacardi wanted to buy controlling ownership of D'Ussé, and Jay was totally open to that concept… but they were very far apart on how much the brand was worth.
According to court filings that were made public last month, at some point in 2022 Jay offered to sell his 50% stake to Bacardi at a $3 billion valuation. In other words, he was offering to accept $1.5 billion. How kind of him!
Bacardi rejected that valuation claiming that it had a handshake deal with the rapper from December 2021 in which he agreed on a deal at half the valuation. AKA, a total valuation of $1.5 billion. Bacardi claimed Jay arbitrarily doubled the price.
In his lawsuit Jay also accused Bacardi of purposely mismanaging D'Ussé to drive the brand's value down.
Yada yada (it's Friday night at 10pm as I write this)… everything came to happy conclusion today…
After months of back-and-forth bitter legal fighting, today Bloomberg Law revealed that Jay and Bacardi had squashed their beef.