It takes money to make money. That’s why in December 2021, Jay-Z was ready to pony up an eye-opening $1.5 billion to purchase his half of Bacardi’s D’USSÉ cognac, a brand whose worth he’s probably upgraded as many times as he’s referenced it in songs.
However, the offer described as a “handshake” deal, soon descended into litigation, which is how the figure was revealed. As first reported by TMZ, Bacardi valued the company at $450 million which was approximately six times less than the offer from Jay’s SC Liquor company.
Per unsealed court docs, obtained by Digital Music News, SC Liquor is now exercising its “put” option which requires Bacardi to buy out SC Liquor’s shares in the brand. When Bacardi rejected the original deal, Jay became suspicious of their valuation.
His legal team is asking for an accounting of the profits as Jay and Bacardi are in a 50-50 partnership in D’USSÉ. They have been partners since 2012.
Jay has accused the privately owned label of “unduly influencing a third party that was called in to appraise the brand,” according to the docs.
SC Liquors wants a full accounting including all “books and records, the location of all warehouses storing D’USSÉ barrels, bottles and accessories … as well as all info regarding Bacardi’s physical inventory and its inventory process.”
In 2013, Jay, the second most nominated musician of all time behind his wife Beyoncé, famously showcased D’USSÉ by pouring it into his latest Grammys and drinking it.
Now it appears that he wants to reverse course and have Bacardi buy out his half but is ensuring that he’s paid a fair price.
At various times, Jay’s business endeavors have included ownership of the 40/40 clubs, the Carol’s Daughter beauty company, Rocawear, a stake in Armand de Brignac champagne, and the streaming music company Tidal, which he’s sold. Forbes declared Jay a billionaire in 2019, and D’USSÉ was listed among his assets with an estimated worth of $100 million.