Sean Combs Sold Share of Tequila Brand for $200 Million

Sean Combs, the music mogul whose business empire has been upended by recent lawsuits accusing him of sexual assault and a federal investigation, sold his half of the tequila brand DeLeón for about $200 million this year, according to a public report for investors.

Mr. Combs, who has vehemently denied allegations of sexual assault and sex trafficking, came to prominence as a hip-hop impresario but amassed much of his wealth from other businesses, including through work with the liquor giant Diageo. Their partnership, which was thrown into turmoil last year before the sexual assault lawsuits, is now over.

Diageo disclosed in a recent financial statement that it had agreed on Jan. 16 to buy the 50 percent stake in the DeLeón tequila brand from Mr. Combs’s company, Combs Wine and Spirits, “for a total consideration of approximately $200 million.”

Mr. Combs’s work with Diageo began more than 15 years ago when he began promoting its vodka brand Ciroc. He purchased DeLeón in a joint venture with the company about a decade ago, leveraging his celebrity to promote the tequila brand on social media, in interviews and as a prop in music videos.

According to a court filing in June by a Diageo executive, Mr. Combs — who has also been known throughout his career as Puff Daddy or Diddy — amassed nearly a billion dollars from his relationship with the company.

But the mogul’s partnership with the liquor giant began to fray, spilling into public last year. Combs Wine and Spirits sued Diageo and accused it of typecasting Ciroc and DeLeón as “Black brands” that should be targeted only to “‘urban’ customers,” limiting potential growth.

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