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

Reuters Posted online: Tuesday, Jan 14, 2014 at 0000 hrs
London : 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 worldís third-largest maker of distilled drinks.

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

The acquisition brings together Beamís Jim Beam and Makerís Mark bourbons, Courvoisier cognac and Sauza tequila with Suntoryís 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 Beamís closing share price of $66.97 on Friday.

Beamís 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 Suntoryís 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.