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Bacardi acquires majority interest in D'Ussé Cognac following legal battle

Bacardi and Shawn Carter – known professionally as American rapper Jay-Z – have jointly announced a long-term agreement that renews their partnership with premium cognac brand, D'Ussé. In 2012, Carter's company SCLiquor and a subsidiary of Bacardi partnered to launch D'Ussé Cognac and had been 50/50 equal owners prior to this acquisition. According to Bloomberg, Bacardi has now bought out the majority of SCLiquor's stake in D'Ussé, leaving the spirits giant with 75.01% of the business, with Carter retaining a significant share in the brand. Carter commented: “The next phase of this journey will further cement D'Ussé's legacy as one of the world's most respected brands. I am excited to renew this partnership with Bacardi." The acquisition follows an approximately $2.5 billion lawsuit brought by SCLiquor in October 2022. In a court document made public by Bloomberg Law, SCLiquor sought internal files from D’Ussé, managed by Bacardi subsidiary Empire Investments, to investigate "Empire’s failings by exercising its statutory and common law rights to demand information from D’Ussé". The document continued: "SC has made repeated demands for D’Ussé’s books and records, the most recent of which was served on 3 October 2022...D’Ussé has not responded to SC’s information requests.” The litigation involved four cases in two courts and an arbitration proceeding, according to Bloomberg Law. It stemmed from the rapper’s demand that the company either exited the joint venture or buy out his 50% stake. Further details of the acquisition were not disclosed.

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