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Suntory Holdings acquires Jim Beam

Japanese distiller Suntory Holdings Ltd. announced its purchase of Beam, Inc., and its namesake bourbon, Jim Beam, Monday.

The sale is for a reported $16 billion in cash and assumption of Beam’s net debt. The sale, which is scheduled for completion in the second quarter, will make Suntory the world’s third-largest maker of distilled drinks.


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Beam's operations will remain in the U.S., according to published reports. The company is headquartered in Deerfield, Ill.

Along with Jim Beam, Suntory acquires Maker’s Mark bourbon, Canadian Club whisky, Courvoisier cognac and Sauza tequila, among other brands.

Suntory brands include Yamazaki, Hakushu, Hibiki and Kakubin whiskies, Bowman Scotch whisky and Midori liqueur.

Nobutada Saji, Suntory president and chairman, said in a statement that the acquisition will help his company further its global growth.

Nick Long, former beer and wine category manager for Piggly Wiggly said the sale might disappoint die-hard Beam fans who prefer purchasing products from American-owned companies. "But if they’re Beam drinkers, they’ll keep buying Beam. Spirits drinkers are very loyal," he said.

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