Diageo and Suntory in talks to buy Beam?

09 December, 2012

Diageo and Suntory have held talks about bidding $10 billion for American drinks giant, Beam, according to reports in today’s Sunday Telegraph (December 9).

The world’s largest premium drinks company has held discussions with the Japanese drinks giant in the spring and summer about the possibility of acquiring Beam and carving it up between them, according to the Sunday Telegraph’s Ben Harrington.

Diageo, which is the largest scotch whisky producer in the world with brands such as Johnnie Walker, Buchanan’s, J&B and Old Parr, would only be interested in a few of the brands; its eponymous bourbon, Jim Beam, being the most notable.

Beam’s brands include: cognac Courvoiser, Sauza tequila, boutique American whiskey, Maker’s Mark, Cruzan rum, Canadian Club whisky, Teacher’s and iconic Islay single malt scotch, Laphroaig.

Suntory as well as being a brewer is also a distiller with single malt whiskies Yamazaki and Hakushu, as well as Hibiki blended whisky.

According to Harrington, Diageo has held talks with other parties, including private equity firms. Similarly, Suntory, which distributes Laphroaig inJapan, has held its own discussions.

He said bankers Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and UBS, have been advising Diageo, which is still in the throes of taking a majority stake in India’s United Spirits group. It is also said to have held talks with the Mexico family that owns the Jose Cuervo tequila brand.

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Nick Strangeway

Bar food's blurred lines

Once upon a time pubs and bars were somewhere you went with the sole purpose of getting pissed and there wasn’t a knife and fork in sight, just a packet of dry roasted nuts.