Suntory buys Jim Beam drinks group in $16bn deal

Deal set to create world’s third-biggest premium spirits company

Suntory is buying two-centuries-old US firm Beam in a $16 billion deal that unites spirits including the eponymous whisky, Teacher’s, Courvoisier cognac and Sauza tequila with Japan’s best-selling Yamazaki whisky to create the world’s third-biggest premium spirits company.

The combined company will boast spirits sales of $4.3 billion a year.

The $83.50-a-share deal is at a  25 per cent premium to Friday’s close. It gives Suntory greater exposure to the US, the world’s most profitable spirits market, as well as the chance to grow Beam in Asia, where demand for premium spirits is growing rapidly. Suntory bought Orangina Schweppes for $3 billion in 2009 and acquired the Lucozade and Ribena brands from GlaxoSmithKline for $2.1 billion last year.

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