The groups, which have been tied by existing distribution agreements in Asia, have entered into a deal by which Suntory will pay a 25% premium on Beam’s share price.
The combined group's portfolio will comprise brands with annual net sales of $4.3bn and will include Beam’s Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Knob Creek, Teacher’s, Laphroaig, Canadian Club, Courvoisier, Sauza, Pinnacle, and Suntory’s Yamazaki, Hakushu, Hibiki, Kakubin, Bowmore and Midori.
The transaction has been unanimously approved by each company’s board of directors and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2014, subject to Beam stockholders’ approval, regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.
Matt Shattock, president and chief executive officer of Beam “This is a very exciting development that delivers substantial value for our stockholders and creates an even stronger global company with an excellent platform for future 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
“Our combined global routes to market will expand our joint distribution footprint, and the powerful innovation capabilities both companies have developed will be a significant advantage. Backed by the expertise and the financial resources of Suntory, the people of Beam look forward to working with the Suntory team to continue outperforming our global market and to building on the proud traditions and deep heritage of our brands across all the major spirits categories.”
Nobutada Saji, president and chairman of Suntory’s Board, said: “I am delighted that we can announce this agreement with Beam, a company with a portfolio of leading global brands, including Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark, and a strong global distribution network.
“I believe this combination will create a spirits business with a product portfolio unmatched throughout the world and allow us to achieve further global growth. We are particularly excited about the prospect of working more closely with Beam’s excellent management and employees who will play an integral part in the growth of the business.”