Jay-Z has sold half his Armand de Brignac champagne brand — aka Ace Of Spades — to LVMH’s Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, according to The Wall Street Journal. LVMH bought a 50% stake in the emerging brand to help grow Armand de Brignac with the help of LVMH’s global distribution network but no specific figures were given in the report.
Jay told The Wall Street Journal that his end of the move was motivated by the growth of his brand past the expectations and expertise it already had. “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 said. “We’d been in this 15 years, not a hundred.”
He also noted that while global champagne sales are experiencing a downturn due to the pandemic, the timing is better now that luxury brands have become more comfortable working with artists whose roots are in hip-hop. The story specifically cites Rihanna’s Fenty brands with LVMH, which has plans to expand her Savage X Fenty line despite closing their joint luxury fashion house, and Gucci Mane, who recently worked with his namesake brand. As Jay said, “People have come to accept that these two worlds are a natural fit. In the beginning, it wasn’t a natural fit.”
Jay invested in Armand de Brignac in 2006 after an executive at Cristal’s parent company wondered whether the brand was being harmed by constant name-checking in hip-hop. It didn’t take long for hip-hop to turn on Cristal, and Jay eventually bought out his partners in 2014. Now, LVMH hopes that the association with hip-hop will provide a cool factor that’ll bring new consumers to the market and grow the segment as the market recovers.
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