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Japan's Suntory to purchase Jim Beam for US$16 billion

NEW YORK--Japan's Suntory Holdings will buy the U.S. maker of Jim Beam bourbon for US$16 billion in a transaction that includes debt, creating the spirit sector's third-largest player, a joint statement said Monday.

Suntory is offering US$83.50 per share for rival Beam Inc., a liquor group whose brands also include Maker's Mark bourbon, Sauza tequila, Courvoisier cognac and Teacher's whiskey, according to the statement.

Suntory is known for leading Japanese whiskies Yamazaki, Hakushu, Hibiki and Kakubin, as well as Bowmore Scotch whisky and Midori liqueur. The deal, approved by the board of directors of each company, is expected to close in the second quarter of 2014 pending regulatory approval.

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