Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark are just two of America’s favorite liquors that will now be produced under the ownership of a Japanese beverage company, Suntory Holdings Ltd. The $13.62 billion deal was announced Monday after Beam Inc. agreed to be sold to Suntory. Upon the announcement, shares of Beam Inc. rose 24% on Monday.
Beam Inc., headquartered in Chicago, produces many of America’s most famous brands of bourbons and whiskeys: Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Basil Hayden’s, Knob Creek, Booker’s, Baker’s, and Canadian Club. The company says they will continue production in Chicago with Beam’s current staff.
Beam Inc. spokesman Clarkson Hine says that Suntory wants the company to carry on “business as usual,” and “continue doing what we’re doing” for now. Beam also assures drinkers that there will be no changes made to their favorite beverages in light of the acquisition.
The deal still needs approval from Beam Inc. stockholders and is expected to be finalized in the second quarter of the year.
Not everyone is happy about the merger, however; many patriotic Americans believe the deal will tarnish the uniqueness of bourbon and whiskey, whose roots are based in Kentucky and Tennessee.
Many of the most outraged U.S. citizens have taken to social media, such as Twitter, to vent their anger and frustration over the merger. Some have even vowed to never drink Jim Beam or Maker’s Mark again. Comedian Ron White, known for his love of scotch while performing, even commented on the news, saying the deal is “un-American.”
— Poptart Gossip (@PoptartGossip) January 14, 2014
This is pure betrayal. http://t.co/E26WoHRf0f
— Ryan Keeling (@keelindemtweets) January 14, 2014
Main image courtesy @jimbeamofficial via Twitter.