Suntorys $16-bn Beam buy to peg it as No. 3 distiller

Written by Reuters | London | Updated: Jan 14 2014, 20:00pm hrs
Suntory Holdings said on Monday it plans to buy Beam, paying $13.6 billion in cash for the shares to make the Japanese company the worlds third-largest maker of distilled drinks.

Including the assumption of Beams debt, the deal is worth $16 billion and is expected to close in the second quarter.

The acquisition brings together Beams Jim Beam and Makers Mark bourbons, Courvoisier cognac and Sauza tequila with Suntorys Yamazaki, Hakushu, Hibiki and Kakubin Japanese whiskies, Bowmore Scotch whisky and Midori liqueur.

Suntory will pay $83.50 per share in cash, a 25% premium to Beams closing share price of $66.97 on Friday.

Beams CEO Matt Shattock and the current Beam management team will continue to lead the business from its headquarters outside Chicago, Illinois, the two companies said.

The two already had a business relationship under which Suntory distributes Beam products in Japan and Beam distributes Suntorys products in Singapore and other Asian markets. Suntory intends to fund the acquisition through a combination of cash on hand and fully committed financing from The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi.