Feb 24: The luxury group LVMH-owned Moet Hennessy has bought 50% share in Armand de Brignac, a Champagne house owned by rapper Jay-Z, upping its presence in the luxury market and entering the hip-hop culture, sealing further the bonds of friendship between the owner-rapper Jay-Z with Alexandre Arnault, the 28-year old son of LVMH’s billionaire founder, Bernard Arnault, writes Subhash Arora
The rap star Jay-Z who had been an avid admirer and consumer of the Cristal luxury label from Louis Roederer, became averse to it when the President of the company had passed disparaging remarks about rappers drinking luxury champagnes, and shifted first to Krug and Dom Perignon and then to Ace of Spades super-luxury label. Using Cristal in his lyrics earlier, he had sung about the Ace of Spades logo on a metallic silver bottle, in a video in 2006 for “Show Me What You Got.” He bought the shares owned by the Sovereign Brands in the company in 2014.
The brand is expected to gain from the luxury marketing expertise and distribution network of LVMH even though the Champagne industry reels under the pandemic. The market bought only $4 billion, a billion dollars less than in 2019, because of delays and cancellations of weddings and loss of on-trade sales globally. LVMH lost 14% sale of wine and spirit, according to Al Jazeera.
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“Armand de Brignac breaks barriers and reflects contemporary luxury, while preserving the tradition of the Champagne terroirs,” Philippe Schaus, CEO of Moet Hennessy drinks unit, said in a statement.
LVMH is a premier luxury house which promotes labels of celebrities but it has not always worked well. Two weeks ago on February 10, the company announced suspending its collaboration with Rihanna (who was in the news recently in India for her tweets on the Farmers’ Protest at the Delhi borders) for its Fenty fashion clothing brand, less than two years after entering the venture, though it continues to collaborate with Fenty Beauty, Fenty Skin and the lingerie line Savage X Fenty.
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Armand de Brignac sold over half a million bottles in 2019, fetching over $300 million. No details of the financials of the Deal have been shared with the Press.
Subhash Arora had the pleasure of meeting Sebastien Besson, CEO of Armand de Brignac at the stand of the local distributor at ProWine Asia and also Jean-Jacques Cattier, the owner of Domaine Cattier and tasted a few of their labels. Click HERE to share his experience.
Dhall Foods & Beverages has been the successful importer of Armand de Brignac in India, thanks to the popularity in Bollywood and many swanky high-end nightclubs where it sells for over Rs. 200,000 a bottle- more for its exclusivity and the high prices. Arjun Dhall, Director of Dhall Foods says, ‘We have also been very successful at the Airport where we have been selling at US$400 a bottle with a gift. (Rose is at $600). Unfortunately, the Lockdown has hit that business badly but we hope to revive it when international travel starts again. We have been selling over 100 cases a year before-and the product is on allocation!”
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It has to be seen how the Distribution will be affected. He adds, ‘It’s too early to tell. The announcement came only 2 days ago. We hope to continue but we will await the clarity in the near future.’ For now, the super-affluent or the international travellers can impress and relax with their bottle of ‘Armignac’- a term I have concocted from Brangelina, inspired by Angelina Jolly and Brad Pitts who split in 2016 when I visited ProWine Asia-editor)
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