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Suntory buys Beam for $16bn

Japanese drinks group Suntory Holdings is to buy Maker’s Mark producer Beam Inc for US$16 billion (£9.7bn), making it the world’s third largest drinks company.

Jim Beam portfolio
Suntory has bought Beam’s entire portfolio

The acquisition of the US drinks group, whose brands include Jim Beam Bourbon, Courvoisier Cognac and Sauza Tequila, will make Suntory the world’s third largest drinks group behind Diageo and Pernod Ricard.

The deal, which takes into account Beam’s outstanding debt, is expected to close in the second quarter of 2014 subject to the approval of Beam’s stockholders and regulations.

Matt Shattock, president and CEO of Beam Inc, said: “This is a very exciting development that delivers substantial value for our stockholders and creates an even stronger global company with an excellent platform for future growth.

“Together we will be a global leader in distilled spirits with the #3 position in premium spirits and a dynamic portfolio across key categories.

Beam’s products join Suntory’s existing portfolio of Yamazaki, Hibiki, Hakushu and Kakubin Japanese whiskies.

“With particular strength in Bourbon, Scotch, Canadian, Irish and Japanese whisky, the combined company will have unparalleled expertise and portfolio breadth in premium whisky, which is driving the fastest growth in Western spirits,” Shattock continued.

Upon completion, Suntory aims to focus on growth in the US with its new, combined portfolio of brands and expanded distribution network.

Nobutada Saji, President and Chairman of Suntory’s Board, said: “I believe this combination will create a spirits business with a product portfolio unmatched throughout the world and allow us to achieve further global growth.

“We are particularly excited about the prospect of working more closely with Beam’s excellent management and employees who will play an integral part in the growth of the business.”

Shattock and the current Beam management team will continue to lead the business from its headquarters outside Chicago, Illinois.

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