The Japanese beverage company, Suntory Holdings Ltd., has recently acquired the world-famous Kentucky Jim Beam company that manufactures Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark alcohol. The purchase came with a hefty $13.62 billion price tag and comes at a time when the global market is high for US whiskeys. In fact, the US whiskey industry exports roughly $1 billion — an amount that is double the amount of US whiskey exports from the last decade. According to Distilled Spirits Council spokesman Frank Coleman, “We’re basically in the middle of a global whiskey renaissance.”
The recent purchase will not cause any immediate drastic results in relation to the composition of the product itself or the management of the overall company. “It’s business as usual,” Jim Beam spokesman Clarkson Hine said before adding that Suntory Holdings Ltd. has instructed employees to “keep doing what we’re doing.”
Landor Associates managing director Allen Adamson spoke about the benefits of being bought by a larger company with more widespread financial resources, and explained that the product can still remain popular within the American market. “The trick is to maintain its authenticity, and not muck with the core elements,” Adamson said.
Funds to support the deal on behalf of Suntory are being made by The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ. Suntory Holdings Ltd. is a privately-held company that was founded in 1899, and is credited with producing and selling Japan’s first whiskey. The Beam shares will be acquired for $83.50 per share.
In a recent interview with Forbes, Beam president and CEO Matt Shattock spoke about the recent acquisition. “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 whiskey, the combined company will have unparalleled expertise and portfolio breadth in premium whiskey, which is driving the fastest growth in western spirits.”
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