In a recent interview with BusinessWeek.com, former VAN HALEN singer Sammy Hagar explains how and why he decided to sell a majority stake in his $60 million-a-year Cabo Wabo tequila business to Campari/Skyy.
"My first intention was just to have this little tequila brand for my friends at the cantina and then bring it to America," Hagar says. "I thought it'd be awesome if we did 10,000 cases a year. Our first year, we sold 37,000 cases. Then it exploded and it really started getting away from me, because I'm not a good day-to-day business guy. You know, my feet are in the sand day to day. Cell phones on the beach — I don't like it. I feel like an idiot. People look at me funny. I get one white ear out of it, you know what I mean?
"Ever since I started, people have been trying to buy Cabo Wabo — even when it was the smallest little company. And as it really started growing in the past few years, I've been bogged down with the business side of it. I love this brand but I also have my music business to look after.
"Long story short: I realized how important it was for it to be a global brand and not just a little thing in my backyard or just in America. My fans had been hounding me for years—in Japan, Australia, Russia. I get letters from all over and on my Web site asking, 'Where can we find Cabo Wabo?' And it's kind of embarrassing. If it's the best tequila in the world, then why isn't it worldwide? The fact of the matter is that the brand outgrew my ability to take it to the next level.
"So, when Campari/Skyy Spirits approached me late last year with an offer to go global, I agreed.
Read the entire article at BusinessWeek.com.