January 15, 2014

Japanese whisky company acquires Jim Beam maker for $16 billion

On Monday, January 13, Suntory Holdings Limited and Beam Inc. jointly announced plans for the former to acquire all outstanding shares of the latter for a total of approximately $16 billion. According to the companies' press release, the transaction is expected to be finalized during the second quarter of 2014. 

The source notes that the two companies have a long-standing business relationship through which they have distributed each other's products in different markets throughout the world. The purpose of the acquisition is to combine production and distribution of both brands' array of well-known products — which include Jim Beam, Maker's Mark and Yamazaki — in order to stimulate worldwide 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. 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," Matt Shattock, Beam Inc.'s president and CEO, said in a press statement, adding that this is a "very exciting development." 

Suntory president and chairman Nobutada Saji echoed these sentiments, noting that he is looking forward to working with Beam's management and employees going forward. 

Shattock will reportedly continue to run his section of the business out of the company's Chicago headquarters. 

As evidenced by this recent agreement, business acquisitions are mutually beneficial transactions that can help existing companies to expand their reach and grow their revenue without having to build entirely new teams.