Jay-Z and Empire Investments Inc., a subsidiary of Bacardi, entered into a partnership in 2012, with the parties having 50/50 ownership in D’Ussé cognac. By 2022, D’Ussé had grown to become one of the fastest-selling spirits in history. Jay-Z’s attempt last year to sell a majority of his ownership stake to Bacardi for $1.5 billion was met with a lowball counter-offer, $460 million.
In October 2022 Jay-Z and his team sued Bacardi stating the company was purposefully reducing production and distribution of D’Ussé to manipulate buyout price for Jay-Z’s stake.
In resolving their legal battle, Jay-Z walks away with a large payout, said to be in the billions, while maintaining a “significant ownership stake” in D’Ussé. Bacardi now owns 75% of the cognac.
With Jay-Z’s influence, the D’Ussé brand has seen the fastest growth in the cognac category, experiencing a 30% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in just the last 3 years. In that time, D’Ussé has received a number of awards, beating out more established brands.