Severe Thunderstorm Warning expires at 2:20 PM on 7/23, issued at 1:53 PM Berry, KY | Carlisle, KY | Cynthiana, KY | Millersburg, KY

Beam Being Acquired By Japan's Suntory

Reported by: Sara Howard
Set Text Size SmallSet Text Size MediumSet Text Size LargeSet Text Size X-Large
Share
Updated: 1/13 5:28 pm
The maker of classic American liquors such as Jim Beam and Maker's Mark has agreed to be purchased by a Japanese company in a $13.62 billion deal that would create the third largest global premium spirits business.

Shares of Beam Inc. rose 24 percent on Monday after it said that it agreed to be acquired by Suntory Holdings Ltd., a Japanese beverage company. The combined company would have annual sales of more than $4.3 billion.

The deal follows a number of acquisitions of alcohol brands in recent years, including Anheuser-Busch InBev's $20.1 billion deal last year to buy the other half of Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo that it didn't already own.

The acquisition also comes at a time when the taste for bourbon - a type of American whisky that is made primarily of corn and typically distilled in Kentucky - continues to grow both domestically and abroad.

In the U.S., sales volume for bourbon and Tennessee whiskeys such as Jack Daniels has grown 26 percent over the past decade, according to the Distilled Spirits Council, and industry group. Exports of U.S. whiskeys has grown to roughly $1 billion last year, more than double what it was a decade ago.

Demand is so robust that Beam last year even considered reducing the alcohol content for Maker's Mark because of a supply shortage. The company scrapped the idea after a backlash by fans of the higher-end bourbon.
"We're basically in the middle of a global whiskey renaissance," said Frank Coleman, a spokesman for the Distilled Spirits Council.
Suntory and Beam already had a relationship. Suntory distributes Beam products in Japan and has a portfolio of spirits with whiskies, including Yamazaki and Hakushu as well as Midori liqueur and other beverages. And Beam, which is based in Deerfield, Ill., distributes Suntory's products in Singapore and other Asian markets.

Suntory President and Chairman Nobutada Saji said in a statement that the acquisition will help Suntory further its global growth. In recent years, Suntory has also purchased French beverage maker Orangina Schweppes Group and GlaxoSmith Kline's Lucozade and Ribena drinks.

Beam spokesman Clarkson Hine said for now, the deal will result in few changes for fans of Beam's bourbons. He also said that Beam, which was spun off as a stand-alone liquor company in 2011 from conglomerate Fortune Brands Inc., will continue with its current management.

"It's business as usual," Hine said, noting that Suntory has indicated it wants the company to "keep doing what we're doing."

Suntory will pay $83.50 per share, a 25 percent premium to Beam's Friday closing price of $66.97. The companies put the deal's value at about $16 billion, including debt.

Suntory plans to fund the deal with available cash and fully committed financing from The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ.

Both companies' boards unanimously approved the transaction, which is targeted to close in the second quarter.
The deal needs approval from Beam Inc. stockholders.

Shares of Beam rose $16.14 to $83.11.

Share
Most Popular
Identity Theft Suspect Identified
Nicholasville Police are positive they have a suspect identified who is wanted in a recent identity theft case.
Lincoln County Woman Abducted; Held For Ransom
Stanford Police are looking for a suspect who abducted a woman at gun point, and held her for ransom Video Video
2014 36 Blitz: Mason Co. Royals
A look at tradition in Maysville and what it means to this season's team. Video Video
Postal Facility In Lexington Scheduled To Be Closed In 2015
The U.S. Postal Service's processing and distribution center on Nandino Boulevard in Lexington is scheduled to be closed next year to save money, according to the USPS Website. Video Video
5 Kentucky, Tennessee schools on list
Two Tennessee universities have made the "honor roll" of a publication's 2014 list of "Great Colleges To Work For."
Inergize Digital This site is hosted and managed by Inergize Digital.

WTVQ.com supports children's privacy rights. All persons under the age of 13 MUST have parental permission to use this website and direct parental supervision is strongly recommended.