Just days after finalising their £1.3 billion acquisition of British drink brands Lucozade and Ribena, Japanese drinks group Suntory is set to take ownership of Irish whiskey brands Kilbeggan and Tyrconnell with a massive takeover.
Suntory said it plans to buy US rival Beam, paying $13.6 billion billion in cash for the shares to make the Japanese company the world's third-largest maker of distilled drinks.
Including the assumption of Beam's debt, the deal is worth $16 billion and is expected to close in the second quarter.
The acquisition brings together Beam's Jim Beam and Maker's Mark bourbons, Courvoisier cognac and Sauza tequila with Suntory's Yamazaki, Hakushu, Hibiki and Kakubin Japanese whiskies, Bowmore Scotch whisky and Midori liqueur.
It will also bring the Irish whiskey brands acquired by Beam when it bought Cooley Distillery in 2012 into the Suntory fold.
Investors in the maker of Jim Beam and Canadian Club liquor will get $83.50 in cash per share, Suntory said today in a statement. That's a whole 25% above Beam’s closing price on 10 January.
Suntory, the maker of Yamazaki whiskey and the Premium Malt’s beer, is seeking to boost overseas growth as the population in its home market shrinks and ages. In 2012 reports indicated that Suntory were considering making an offer for Beam alongside Diageo, but that never materialized.
The takeover is the biggest this year and the sixth-largest ever in the beverages industry, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
© 2014 - Hospitality Ireland Magazine by Enda Dowling