Niinami: Beam Suntory ‘not yet integrated’

31st October, 2016 by Amy Hopkins

The portfolios of Beam and Suntory will not be fully integrated until the two units launch new products in collaboration, the president and CEO of Suntory Holdings has said.


Takeshi Niinami has said the US and Japan sides of the Beam Suntory business will release collaborative products within the next two years

Japan-based Suntory Holdings acquired US-based Beam Inc in 2014 for US$16bn, creating the world’s third largest spirits group – Beam Suntory.

Speaking to The Spirits Business in Japan recently, Suntory Holdings’ head Takeshi Niinami said the Japan and US sides of the Beam Suntory business have “several projects underway” with regards to NPDs.

“We have to materialise the integration by launching products as a result of the integration,” he said. “[We] are manufacturers, so we need brand new products to appeal to the global market, that’s for sure.

“That’s the concerted effort I share with Matt Shattock [CEO of Beam Suntory]. There are several projects underway together with Beam Suntory.

“So definitely we would like to launch new products as a result of both parties’ production and quality divisions. [That] should be within the time frame of a couple of years and my position is to pressure those people working on the projects to make it happen ASAP.

“But quality comes first, and the management of Suntory Holdings does not make any concession about the quality. That’s our tradition. And we are in a hurry always, but quality is very important, because repeated users and drinkers are key, and that’s a long-term commitment.”

Niinami also said Suntory Holdings will not consider any significant acquisitions until it has been “successful” in its integration with Beam. “We have to demonstrate that we can succeed in our position at Beam Suntory, that’s the first priority,” he said.

The former head of convenience store operator Lawson Inc, Niinami was named president and CEO of Suntory in 2014, becoming the first person from outside of the founding family to take up the role.

Despite earlier reports to the contrary, Niinami has stressed that his company is not currently considering an initial public offering.

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