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Suntory to buy maker of Jim Beam for $16 billion

Japan’s Suntory Holdings Ltd. has agreed to purchase the American liquor company behind Jim Beam bourbon for $16 billion, a splash that forms a global liquor giant.

Suntory said Monday it will pay $83.50 per share for Beam Inc., a 25% premium over Friday’s closing price. Beam's shares shot up Monday. 

Founded in Osaka in 1899, the prominent Japanese beverage company has looked overseas for growth in recent years, acquiring New Zealand-based Frucor Group and France’s Orangina Schweppes Group in 2009.

The deal for Beam greatly expands Suntory’s presence in the highly coveted American liquor market, giving it access to new products and a strong distribution network. The maker of the single malt whiskey Yamazaki adds a plethora of Beam brands with the deal, including Maker’s Mark bourbon, Knob Creek bourbon, Hornitos Tequila and more.

“I believe this combination will create a spirits business with a product portfolio unmatched throughout the world and allow us to achieve further global growth,”  Suntory President Nobutada Saji said in a statement.

The deal is expected to close in the second quarter and still must be approved by  the stockholders of Deerfield, Ill.-based Beam.

Beam stock was up 24.2%, or $16.19, to $83.16 a share in midsession trading.

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Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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