AUSTIN, TX — Austin billionaire John Paul DeJoria is selling his majority stake in Patrón Spirits International AG, maker of the popular Patrón tequila, as part of a deal valued at $5.1 billion, officials announced on Monday.
The deal calls for Global spirits giant Bacardi Limited to acquire Patrón Spirits International as reported by multiple media outlets, including Forbes. The world’s largest private spirits business, Bacardi already owns a 30 percent stake in Patrón. Its purchase of Patrón Spirits International is expected to close in the first half of this year.
The purchase adds an additional brand-name liquor to Bacardi’s roster along with Grey Goose vodka, Dewar’s scotch whiskey and a fleet of eponymous rums, as Forbes reported.
As part of the acquisition, Patrón cofounder DeJoria will sell his 70 percent stake in the company. DeJoria is worth an estimated $3.4 billion according to Forbes. He launched the tequila company in 1989 with co-founder Martin Crowley, who died in 2003. After a long legal fight, DeJoria bought out the Crowley estate’s stake in the company to become Patrón’s majority owner in 2008, Forbes noted.
In Monday’s press release announcing the deal, DeJoria waxed nearly sentimental over the success of the business he helped form: "Today…we produce more than three million cases of distilled spirits annually that are enjoyed around the world," he wrote. "I am proud of what our entire organization has accomplished."
DeJoria will remain with the firm as an ambassador for Patrón, serving in the of Chairman Emeritus."
The sale is another milestone for DeJoria in a storied career that began with him sleeping in his car when he sold shampoo door-to-door. In 1980, he teamed up with Paul Mitchell to launch his first entrepreneurial success, the hair line products maker John Paul Mitchell Systems. Since its beginnings, Forbes noted, that company has grown from an initial $700 investment into a cosmetics titan with hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.
DeJoria, 73, and his wife have lived in Austin since 1997.
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